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Issue No.: 574 | April 2015

Amartya Sen’s Outbursts on Being Denied a Second Term

N. S. Venkataraman
On being denied second term as Chancellor of Nalanda University, Amartsya Sen has criticised the Modi Government and accused it of threatening academic freedom.

Obviously, Amartya Sen would not have said this if he had been given a second term. His reaction sounds like that of a typical politician in India who views any situation in the light of his personal interests. It is unfortunate that Sen has viewed the issues relating to academic freedom in such a restricted way.

Amartya Sen has completed his term as Chancellor of Nalanda University and his term has not been disturbed mid-way. Certainly, the government has the duty, responsibility and authority to decide as to who should be the next Chancellor and the decision need not always go in favour of the incumbent. A person like Amartya Sen, a Nobel laureate who gets a lot of publicity in the media, should understand this prerogative of the government. 

By no stretch of imagination can one say that not providing a second term as Chancellor amounts to a threat to academic freedom. Certainly there are people in India who are equally suitable or may be even more suitable than Sen for the job and the government is entitled to examine such possibilities.

Amartya Sen has given an impression that he is a pledged critic of Narendra Modi. In his recent interview in the media, he not only talks about his not being given a second term but has also made highly critical remarks about Modi’s governance which is unwarranted from a person holding a position as exalted as a Chancellor of a University.

N. S. Venkataraman, Trustee
Nandini Voice For The Deprived
twitter: @nsvchenna





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