B’desh more successful than India now: Amartya Sen
DOT Desk: Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen rates today’s Bangladesh more successful than India on several fronts and lists the embrace of “multiple identities” as a major factor contributing to this growth, reports Bangla tribune. In an interview with The New Yorker magazine, the internationally renowned economist has strongly criticised what he calls an “a deliberate attempt to undermine” a multi-religious, multiethnic India by the Narendra Modi government.
“Bangladesh has been, in many ways, more successful than India now,” says Amartya Sen, who was also awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award by India, in 1999.
He lists life expectancy, women’s literacy as areas where Bangladesh has overtaken India but saves the strongest comments on multiple identities, the importance of which has come up time and again in his works.
Reflecting on its importance in response to a question, he says: “I think multiple identities have done a lot for Bangladesh.”
“It was doing a lot for India, too, until there was a deliberate attempt to undermine it,” he added.
He says the kind of narrowness visible in Hindu thinking in today’s India is “not reflected in a similar narrowness of Muslim thinking” in Bangladesh.
Professor Sen’s family is from pre-partition Dhaka and his father was a professor at the University of Dhaka. They moved to Delhi in 1946 after the rioting and trouble in the city.
His comments come at a time when Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been showered with lavish praise from all quarters during her state visit to India.
India’s leading financial newspaper, The Economic Times, has urged the Modi government to change the country’s narrative about Bangladesh.
“To keep India-Bangladesh ties on the ascendant, the Indian leadership must refrain from pushing projects like the National Register of Citizens,” says the newspaper’s editorial.
“Despite PM Narendra Modi’s assurances to Hasina on NRC, the exercise puts a strain on bilateral ties,” it says.
It says that Bangladesh economy is doing very well and therefore the key push factor for illegal migration no longer exists.
“In fact, New Delhi should learn from Dhaka’s success and focus on reforms to boost its own economy,” says the newspaper.