Nobel laureate says not proud as an Indian on Kashmir move


NEW DELHI:           Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen on Tuesday has bashed Indian government for scrapping special status of occupied Kashmir saying, “It should have been something for the people of the valley to decide”.

In an interview, the 85-year-old told,: “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”.

“Kashmiris have a legitimate point of view on the conflict because it is their land,” he added.

The nobel laureate went on to say, “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.”

“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,” Dr Sen said.

He stated, “That’s the classic colonial excuse. That’s how the British ran the country for 200 years.”
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 concluded.