India’s relentless tryst with her destiny

Amartya Sen with Suman Ghosh, you will find the original article and story in The Telegraph,

An economist (Suman Ghosh) filmed a documentary on India’s Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen and his discussions with his student, another super star economist, Kausik Basu; interestingly Professor Sen was the advisor of Professor Basu, who in turn, was the advisor to Suman Ghosh. India’s film censor board asked the film director to remove references to wors like “Gujarat”, and “Cow”; lest you wonder what’s going on, here’s Professor Sen’s reaction,

“It’s settled in my mind two questions. One is whether these bodies like the censor board are working in the interests of the nation and its people or the interests of the ruling party and the government. To that, I think, this particular incident offers a fairly clear answer. The second question, in my mind, is whether anyone is going to see this film. They might not be interested in me. But of course, the censor board has now made it an interesting film and I am grateful for that.

“This tells you the country is in the hands of an authoritarian regime, which is pursuing its own view of what’s good for the country. It’s not so much the word cow, I mean cow is not one of my favourite words. It’s much more the favourite word of many members of the ruling party. It’s not so much the word cow, the fact that I raised my eyebrows and complained whether in a country as multi-religious, whether cow slaughter could be banned, on which the lives of so many people depend. It’s that what they object to. Not if I go on saying cow, cow, cow…. Similarly, it’s not the use of the word Gujarat that they didn’t like, but my reference to what happened in 2002 in Gujarat that they don’t like.

“So, to give them their due, there is a comprehensible point of view, understandable point of view. But that understanding is that of an authoritarian regime, which wants to use these bodies, meant to be bodies of the state rather than of the government, to act in the interests of the government and the ruling party running the government. And that tells you something about the way democracy is being interpreted right now by the ruling group in the country.

Pretty sad. India is rapidly slipping. Too fast, too soon.

In a month, India’s tryst with destiny will reach its 70th anniversary.

What tryst? Tryst with what?

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Also in:

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