Space shrinking for debate, visionaries seen as enemies: Amartya Sen

First Published Dec 28, 2020, 5:17 PM IST

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has expressed anguish over the "shrinking space" for debate and dissent in India.

<p>Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has expressed anguish over the "shrinking space" for debate and dissent in India.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Amartya Sen, who is currently embroiled in a dispute with the Visva-Bharati University which named him in its list of illegal occupants on the campus, has said that people are being jailed without trial through an arbitrarily imposed charge of sedition.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>In an interview to news agency <em>Press Trust of India</em>, the Nobel laureate said that a person whom the government did not like may be declared by it to be a terrorist and imprisoned.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Lamenting that opportunities of public protest and free discussion had been curtailed, Sen said that rather than treating young and visionary leaders like Kanhaiya, Khalid or Shehla Rashid as political assets -- who should be given opportunity to pursue their pro-poor initiatives in a peaceful way -- they are treated as enemies to be suppressed.</p>

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has expressed anguish over the "shrinking space" for debate and dissent in India.
 

Amartya Sen, who is currently embroiled in a dispute with the Visva-Bharati University which named him in its list of illegal occupants on the campus, has said that people are being jailed without trial through an arbitrarily imposed charge of sedition.
 

In an interview to news agency Press Trust of India, the Nobel laureate said that a person whom the government did not like may be declared by it to be a terrorist and imprisoned.
 

Lamenting that opportunities of public protest and free discussion had been curtailed, Sen said that rather than treating young and visionary leaders like Kanhaiya, Khalid or Shehla Rashid as political assets -- who should be given opportunity to pursue their pro-poor initiatives in a peaceful way -- they are treated as enemies to be suppressed.

<p><strong>Amartya Sen thanks Mamata Banerjee</strong></p>

<p>Meanwhile, in a letter to Mamata Banerjee, Amartya Sen thanked the West Bengal chief minister for her supporting people like him who are under attack.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Sen's letter to "Dear Mamata" stated: "I am very happy indeed to get your supportive letter. I am not only most touched, but also very reassured that despite the busy life you have to lead, you can find time for reassuring people under attack. Your strong voice, along with your full understanding of what is going on, is, for me, a tremendous source of strength."<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Later in the day, at a public event, Mamata said she herself been politically targeted.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>She said, "I am targeted politically. Educationists like Amartya Sen are being targeted. Now they are feeling isolated."<br />
&nbsp;</p>

Amartya Sen thanks Mamata Banerjee

Meanwhile, in a letter to Mamata Banerjee, Amartya Sen thanked the West Bengal chief minister for her supporting people like him who are under attack.
 

Sen's letter to "Dear Mamata" stated: "I am very happy indeed to get your supportive letter. I am not only most touched, but also very reassured that despite the busy life you have to lead, you can find time for reassuring people under attack. Your strong voice, along with your full understanding of what is going on, is, for me, a tremendous source of strength."
 

Later in the day, at a public event, Mamata said she herself been politically targeted.
 

She said, "I am targeted politically. Educationists like Amartya Sen are being targeted. Now they are feeling isolated."
 

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