Argumentative Indian – Prof Amartya Sen

As a child, I heard some of my folks brag that Amartya Sen, the “badyi” –  arguably the “clan-ish” clan from “Purbobongo”, presently Bangladesh, who had settled in India after partition , and his estranged wife and celebrated fiction writer Nabanita Deb Sen – pretty much every time Prof. Amartya Sen was in news. While I did hear the name several times, and in the young mind, the name got imprinted as on who is a famous Bengali, settled somewhere in London or New York and somehow related to one of the Senguptas, Dasguptas, Duttaguptas, Sensharmas and so on and so forth – it was not until I grew up to understand an explanation of “development economics” and Dr. Manmohan Singh the former Governor of the Indian Central Bank, Reserve Bank of India, that the name really started making sense in my mind. And one day, while surfing books at the store in the newly renovated section of Delhi’s domestic airport, I bought the book. NDTV had not yet interviewed Prof. Sen on his book.


My appreciation of economics theory was influenced by John Kenneth Galbraith, the author of economic classics like The New Industrial State, The Affluent Society. Galbraith who served as the Ambassador to India, was instrumental in establishing the first computer science department in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. In contrast, even while this Canadian born proponent of “American Liberalisation” was influenced by a Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes, another left of centre chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav vehemently opposed the computerisation wave in his state in the early ‘90s like most disoriented Marxist communists in India.

What was it with the communists in India and their protests, that they almost religiously protested to any initiative that wasn’t theirs and there were more than a million of such unreasonable reasons for them to put spanners, in the several decades that communists have survived in India. Indeed, the words “dharna”, “hartal”, “strike” and such ideas of labor unrest was introduced and cultivated by the left organisations in India,…

…coming up…


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