Amartya Sen — A Patriot hated by Nationalists
Amartya Sen is an Indian citizen. He refused to gave up his Indian citizenship even after living in abroad since 1950s. He could have easily got the most prestigious citizenship in the world (American/British) but he simply did not wanted to cut off his ties with India. He speak fluent Bengali even now and worry about the political-economy of India. He is a true patriot with an unparalleled knowledge of Indian philosophy, economics and culture.
Prof. Sen is famous for his contribution in economics. It is said that he humanised the discipline of economics. When the academicians of the world were copying the Wall Street formulae of undertaking excessive quantitative and mathematical analysis to prove themselves right, Amartya Sen heralded a new era of qualitative economics. His approach was humane — he studied the famine, education, healthcare in India and spearheaded the branch of ‘Welfare economics’.
It was he who suggested that GDP is a flawed indicator of progress. He along with a fellow Cambridge economist propounded the concept of “HDI” — Human Development Index. The HDI captures the life expectancy and literacy rate of a region along with the GDP per capita data. Based on this method, it was found that Scandinavian countries lead a much prosperous life. For his contribution in welfare economics, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in the year 1998.
Prof. Sen is a true intellectual. He studied sanskrit for 4 years and his book ‘The Argumentative Indian’ is a testimony to his supreme knowledge of Indian history, culture and philosophy.
It is shameful that the self-proclaimed nationalists of India abuse Amartya Sen while feel proud of people like Akshay Kumar (who abandoned Indian citizenship for tax purposes and purchasing land in Canada) and Satya Nadella/Sundar Pichai (who worked for themselves and their new found motherland— America).
No one can question the patriotism of Amartya Sen. He was not lured by the excellent opportunities he would have got becoming an American citizen while he was teaching at the Harvard University. He visits India (and his native village in West Bengal) every year so that he don’t forget his roots. His views and conviction that welfare economics is better than free-market economics has been accepted in the most countries of the world. Yet, in his own country, he is hounded by the self-proclaimed nationalists for speaking against the present Prime Minister. Well, it is the Kali Yuga!