Few things scare me as much as reading a news report or article or oped that opens with or contains the words “…Nobel Laureate.” I stop reading further even if it means losing whatever wisdom or insight that piece may contain. The only time I read them in full is when my friends and well-wishers insist that I do. What that does is, it reinforces, yet again, my own wisdom—distilled with years of experience of reading Nobel Laureate-level pontification—that I’m served well by ignoring anything that begins with or contains the words “Nobel Laureate.” Okay, I’m lying. I do read them because sometimes, such Nobel Laureate-level pontifications contain strains of a particularly vile virus that infects the well-being of a society and nation simply because that strain is Nobel-certified—a self-fulfilling evil of sorts.
The Nobel Prize lost any trace of respectability or merit ages ago. Apart from a few branches of pure science, the Nobel is simply a fancy title that converts obscure and spurious academics and nonentities into overnight millionaires and Universal Experts whose only strength lies in their ability to kiss the bottom that gets them the bounties. Of course, the Nobel isn’t restricted to just that: it includes a whole gamut of such phonies belonging to various categories—from politicians to terrorists.
Name some famous Nobel-winning names that begin with A. Two names immediately come to mind: Arafat and Amartya. The former was a gold-standard terrorist who won the Nobel for Peace, and the latter was a gold-standard academic obscurity who won the Nobel for Economics. Arafat asserted his terrorism in both word and deed and thus earns our respect because he was at least honest about his avowed intent to destroy Israel using sheer terror.
Here’s where Amartya poses a problem. He’s so versatile that you never know what to make of him: an agnostic, an arguer, an orator, an intellectual, an identity-explorer, an economist, a Buddhist, a Communist, or simply a species from Madagascar that has a projectile tongue and changes its skin colour on demand. His record is both impressive and scary. He won the Nobel for Economics. He’s always on tour lecturing about everything other than economics. He claims to also be a Sanskritist. He speaks glowingly about China’s cultural revolution. He writes books about argumentative Indians. He explores the nature of identities. He heads a panel constituted to revive a prestigious ancient Indian university.
Given that he’s such a multi-faceted incomprehensibility, I’ll settle for the last: Amartya Sen is best defined as a species from Madagascar that has a projectile tongue and changes its skin colour on demand. That’s a biologist’s language. In the layman’s tongue, that species is called a Chameleon.
Amartya Sen is a classic example of mindless and uncritical celebrity worship in the academia, which naturally spills over to the media and public consciousness. This itself is an ugly by-product of a larger phenomenon. Over the years, someone who receives significant recognition in any field suddenly becomes The Expert on Everything. The Nobel being the most significant recognition has thus become the only qualification for such people who instantly become Mr/Ms Know-it-All and attain a Divine Right to indulge in unqualified snobbery.
Which brings us to the question nobody ever asks: what exactly is Amartya Sen’s distinction apart from writing reams of stuff on economics, which nobody reads much less understands? Nobody is grudging his Nobel. However, there are some vulgar mischief-mongers who unfairly sully the fair professor’s name by calling him Mister Rothschild and spread atrocious rumours that the Rothschild name had a lot to do with Dr. Sen getting the Nobel. But let’s not hit below the belt. However, this question is fundamental and necessary because Sen is projected as an expert on everything from ancient India to Hinduism to Sanskrit to Islam to Buddhism to society to philosophy to foreign policy, and is taken seriously. What exactly is his qualification and competence to head the ambitious and well-intentioned project of setting up the Nalanda International University, whose aim is to revive the glory of the original Nalanda? What’s your bet that he’d still be languishing in obscurity at Cambridge instead of doing what he’s doing now but for the Nobel?
It’s precisely because these questions aren’t asked that Sen gets away with—apart from terming Mao’s genocide of his own people as making “great strides”—being a casual apologist for Islamic terror.
…that’s quite different from using religious divisions for purpose of a sectarian division, and for purpose of perpetrating violence on people who do not share the religion but have another religion.
But that is not confined to Islamic – what you now call Islamic – terrorism. That is a very small group of people of the Muslim faith who happen to take a particular view about how to advance it; I think the vast majority of Muslims don’t take that view….the “global war on terror” is not our language, of course. When we refer to it, we call it the so-called “war on terror”
And in 2006 this self-confessed agnostic strongly urged Tony Blair to implement a policy, which calls for the takeover of Britain’s schools by the Church so the kind padres can catch ‘em young and begin to enforce strict mind control. In his own words,
Christian schools “are perfectly acceptable” but other faith schools “are a big mistake and should be scrapped if the Government wants to encourage a unifying British identity…Christian schools have evolved and often provide a much more tolerant atmosphere than a purely religious school would. A lot of people in the Middle East or India or elsewhere have been educated in Christian schools. A lot of my friends came from St Xavier’s in Kolkata- I don’t think they were indoctrinated particularly in Christianity.”
Which is another reason we need to be very wary and scared of Amartya Sen’s creed. His staggering hypocrisy is also dangerous: here’s an agnostic who openly, emphatically endorses religious schools on the assumption that such schools would promote a “unifying” (sic)” national (British) identity. As “evidence,” he claims that Christian schools provide “tolerant atmosphere than a purely religious school.” One wonders whether Sen even realizes the absurdity of his self-contradictory statement—if it’s a Christian school, it is by definition, a religious school unless you’re talking about an out-and-out religious seminary where only hardcore Christianity is taught. Sen’s hollow and fraudulent claim that Indian Christian schools provide an atmosphere of tolerance shows that a Nobel entitles you to lie shamelessly and still smile with confidence. This quick laundry list shows the delightfully tolerant atmosphere of Indian Christian schools:
- Making it almost impossible for non-Christians to get admission unless they convert or belong to the Rich and the Famous club in society
- Showing the Hindu students their place by employing various methods (see the subsequent bulleted points)
- Prohibiting Hindu girls from wearing any adornment or mark that the school regards as Hindu on the school campus
- Enforcing Bible studies in the guise of Moral Science, a compulsory subject mandated by almost all state boards
- Insisting on speaking in English—I know a friend who was fined repeatedly in school for speaking in Kannada or Hindi.
- Derogating the Hindu religion—and India as a country—in the guise of admonishing an errant student—I’m both an eyewitness and recipient of “bloody Indian!” and “bloody Heathen!” admonishments.
- Glossy pamphlets stuck on the notice board describing the kindly exploits of this or that Reverend Eminence’s latest success in spreading the Love of God to remote villages, which were languishing under the Heathen religion.
Abundant tolerance no?
If anything, Amartya Sen is one of the most eminent instances of what Christian education does to Hindus (or followers of “Pagan” religions). The mind control that Christian schools indulge in is as incredible as it is multi-pronged. Years upon years of sustained Christian brainwashing culminates in drilling a feeling of unshakeable, lifelong shame into you. The result: the “Pagan” student ends up hating his religion, his country, and worse, himself, and the only way of overcoming this shame is by harping abuse on precisely these things. This is one of the explanations why Amartya Sen is Amartya Sen. Needless, you can find a million mini-Amartya Sens-in-spirit all around you whose worldview is primarily, immutably shaped and therefore distorted, by Christianity. Like an undiluted Christian fanatic, even those who claim to be agnostics, atheists, and religion-haters refuse to admit even the possibility that an alternate worldview based on different but sound principles can exist.
Even if we grant some lease to Sen’s open call for Church brainwashing of education on the grounds that he was trying to bootlick the British by out-Britishing them, he still sounds insincere. Let’s transport Amartya Sen to India and apply his words in the Indian context.
Hindu schools “are perfectly acceptable” but other faith schools “are a big mistake and should be scrapped if the Government wants to encourage a unifying Indian identity…Hindu schools have evolved and often provide a much more tolerant atmosphere than a purely religious school would. A lot of people in… [USA or Europe] or elsewhere have been educated in Hindu schools. A lot of my friends came from Narendrapur Ramkrishna Mission School in Kolkata – I don’t think they were indoctrinated particularly in Hinduism.”
What’s your wager that he would he make a speech of this sort? Actually, he won’t need to make such a speech because he’s already preempted this requirement by asserting that a “lot of my friends came from St Xavier’s in Kolkata- I don’t think they were indoctrinated particularly in Christianity.”
However, hypocrisy is the least of Sen’s long list of sins.
Amartya Sen is also spineless. This powerful Harvard Professor who has wide contacts in the world’s political firmament preferred to remain mute when he should’ve actually used his position to uphold free speech. This selfsame Harvard university dumped Subramanian Swamy because the powerful Academic Mullahs in Harvard’s administration were pissed off with Swamy’s DNA article, which had angered the bloodthirsty Oil Oligarchs of the Middle East who now fund the Madrassa on the Charles.
Of late, Sen has also added mooching and opacity to his list of sins. His adventures as the head of the Nalanda University revival project is one unending saga of elaborate hoax at taxpayer expense. A measure of Amartya Sen’s dangerous power is how he managed to ensure that India’s former president APJ Abdul Kalam resigned from the Nalanda Mentor Group. Not content, he also made sure that Kalam’s resignation remained a secret as long as possible. In a classic case of the tenant usurping the owner’s property, the Nalanda project, which was Kalam brainchild, has now been hijacked by the likes of Amartya Sen, who has mooched the Indian taxpayers of a gargantuan 17100000 Rupees till Feb 2009 in travel and accommodation bills alone, and he has shown zero progress in return for spending all that money. Actually, let’s correct that: the only progress he has shown so far is writing a letter to Pranab Mukherjee (who was then the External Affairs Minister) to smuggle Sen’s favourite minion, Gopa Sabharwal as the Vice Chancellor. This letter, written on Sen’s Harvard Letterhead, was the only “due process” that Sen followed to get this woman, who’s neither qualified nor competent, to be a Vice Chancellor: she was merely a reader in Lady Shri Ram College. Ever since, Gopa has been drawing a princely salary of Rupees 5,06,513 per month.
Amartya Sen’s lengthy chronicle of skulduggery was to simply show why A=Arafat and A=Amartya. Like the dead Palestinian terrorist state-head who rewarded his loyal minions with power and position, Amartya Sen has used his Nobel Prize as both an academic and political pulpit to further both his economic and political ends throwing shame, fair play, ethics, and even basic decency to the winds.
Every platform or organization that has engaged and plans to engage him stands equally guilty of partaking in his sins.