New Delhi: Days after Nobel laureate Amartya Sen criticised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi during an interview to CNN-IBN, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Chandan Mitra has demanded that his Bharat Ratna be taken back. Mitra said, "Amartya Sen says he doesn't want Modi to be India's PM. Is Sen even a voter in India? Next NDA government must strip him of Bharat Ratna."
Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy too hit out at Amartya Sen and endorsed Chandan Mitra's demand. "I had opposed his Bharat Ratna even at the time the NDA government had given him the Bharat Ratna. So I fully support Chandan Mitra's demand. If a scholar has consistently had an anti-India stance in his writing, then he will surely face flak for it. Now that he has the Bharat Ratna, he should be more careful and more responsible," Swamy said.
Another well-known economist, Jagdish Bhagwati, has also criticised Amartya Sen, saying he's the only economist to have hurt India's poor. Speaking to CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose, Bhagwati said, "He's the one economist who hurt the poor twice. Whether he deserves the Bharat Ratna or not, that's not for me to decide."
Earlier on Wednesday, BJP leader Kirti Azad had said Sen should not get influenced by anyone and should concentrate on his work. "Amartya Sen is a genius, he should concentrate on his work. The whole country wants Narendra Modi as PM and Sen is the only one opposing it," BJP leader Kirti Azad said.
Amartya Sen, in his interview with CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose, had said, "As an Indian citizen I don't want Modi as my PM, he has not done enough to make minorities feel safe."
He also criticised Modi's model of governance and said he does not approve of his model. "Physical infrastructure in Gujarat may be good but Modi has not done enough for minorities or for the majority," he said.
Below is a transcript of an extract from the interview :
Sagarika Ghose: There is the much doubted Narendra Modi model of governance. What do you make of that model of governance? Do you approve of it?
Amartya Sen: No, I don't approve of it in the sense that... There are two issues there. One is what do I think of the record altogether and secondly are the things to learn for what Narendra Modi did, had done and doing. As far as the first is concerned, no I don't the record is very good. I think I don't have to be a member of the minority in order to feel insecure. I could be a member of the majority as an Indian citizen, I could probably say that we Indian don't want... A situation where the minority feel insecure and could legitimately think that there was an organised violence against them in 2002. I think that is a terrible record and I don't think Indian Prime Minister as an Indian citizen... Of who has that kind of record. No, I do not.
Sagarika Ghose: You don't want Narendra Modi as your Prime Minister.
Amartya Sen: You are going straight to that question. Yes, I don't want him.
Sagarika Ghose: Why?
Amartya Sen: Within his condition, could Modi have done a lot better. Yes and he could have first of all been more secular and he could have been made the minority community feel more secure. He could have made the majority community feel that they are not maltreating the minority and going against the long Indian tradition of being tolerant and he cold have also taken both of the facts that Gujarat record in education and healthcare is pretty bad and he has to concentrate on that. As much as he is concentrating quietly as it has happened on physical infrastructure.