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‘I am not proud as an Indian…’ Nobel laureate grills Indian govt

August 20, 2019

New Delhi, August 20, 2019 (PPI-OT): Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen has vehemently criticised the Indian government’s move on Kashmir saying as an Indian, he is not proud of the fact that India has lost that reputation of being a democratic country on the grounds of action that it has taken in Kashmir. Dr Amartya Sen in a media interview in New Delhi said, “I don’t think ultimately you will have any resolution in Kashmir without democracy.”

Pointing out the loopholes in the government’s decision on multiple levels, the 85-year-old said, “As an Indian, I am not proud of the fact that India, after having done so much to achieve a democratic norm in the world – where India was the first non-Western country to go for democracy – that we lose that reputation on the grounds of action that have been taken”.

The India’s move earlier this month to end Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcate the state into two union territories have received political and popular support. Amid anticipation about the possibility buying land in Jammu and Kashmir by people from Indian states, Dr Sen said it should have been “something for the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide”.

“This is something in which Kashmiris have a legitimate point of view because it is their land,” he said. He was also critical of the government’s decision to keep the political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir under arrest. “I don’t think you will ever have fairness and justice without hearing the voices of the leaders of the people and if you keep thousands of leaders under restraint and many of them in jail, including big leaders who have led the country and formed governments in the past … you are stifling the channel of democracy that makes democracy a success,” he said. The government has described its decision to place Jammu and Kashmir under a massive security blanket as ‘preventive measures’ to prevent backlash that might cost lives.

“That’s the classic colonial excuse. That’s how the British ran the country for 200 years,” Dr Sen said. “The last thing that I expected when we got our independence… is that we would go back to our colonial heritage of preventive detentions,” he added.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549
Fax: +92-51-4861736

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