Sunday, 28 July 2013

Shri Amartya Sen

Amartya sen
A nobel Laurete Shri Amartya Sen is a world renowed economist.  I was relatively young when he received the nobel prize in 1998.  The newspapers and magazines went abuzz with the stories and reams n reams of prints were covered on his life story and achievements.  I as a youngster felt very proud that one of our fellow countrymen received the nobel prize and joined in the festivity.  In my enthusiasm, I followed the story in all magazines and papers n news channels of those days.  During all the prolific stories and interviews with him, one of the reporters told him how the whole of india is celebrating and asked him how he himself is feeling as a proud indian?  His reply was a shocker!!! Though it was not a live telecast on tv, the magazine reported that he said something like " he is not an indian and ....." (its been a long time, so i don't remember the exact words but something to that effect - the magazine might have twisted his words out of context also, but he did not contest the comments at that time). Though it sounded rather strange to me, I let it pass as I had more important issues to handle than analyse this acclaimed economist's personal feelings.

As the present controversy goes, there is so much more in the news about this Gentleman and the issue of his citizenship comes to the fore again.  If Dr Subramanian Swamy is right, he lost his citizen ship when he married foreigners and stays abroad!! but, is that right? can an indian lose his citizenship for marrying a foreigner and staying abroad?  Of course you lose the moral right to comment on the state on affairs of this country when you choose not to stay here but what is the rule position?  A check on his Wikipedia page shows that, he spent most of his time teaching in the best universities abroad.  If that be the case, how really can he understand the difficulties and sufferings of the common Indian?  Anyway those are different issues, but Shri Amartya Sen ji should come clear of his citizenship status before we attach a lot of importance to his comments.  The earlier comments in 1998,  I am giving full benefit of doubt to Dr Amartya Sen that I may have remembered it wrongly or the paper may have reported it wrongly.

But for the present, We would appreciate a clarification, as so many people say that he is not a citizen of India.  Because for people like me (I am sure there are a lot of people like me), he may be a great economist, but if he is not a citizen of our country, he has no business commenting about it (and we have no business  attaching so much importance to his comments).  But if he is, we may consider his views when the time comes to cast our vote.  Lets hope that some clarity arises on this.

I hope Dr Sen is still a citizen of our country and would be pleased to read that confirmation because I refuse to believe that "Bharat Ratna" would be conferred on someone who is not a citizen of India.

I or this blog have absolutely no political leanings and is a commentary only on socially relevant issues.