Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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BJP calls Nobel laureate Amartya Sen a ‘land grabber’, says letter to Mamata a ‘poll gimmick’

The letter was sent to Mamata Banerjee after she supported Amartya Sen by reacting strongly to Visva-Bharati, which accused him of illegally possessing land on the campus.

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Kolkata: Two days after Nobel laureate Amartya Sen thanked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for supporting him amid a land row with Visva-Bharati University, the BJP Tuesday called Sen a “land grabber” and his letter to the CM a “poor election gimmick”.

Talking to ThePrint, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh also described Sen as an academician, whose theories never “helped the state and the country”.

“The letter is nothing but an election gimmick engineered by Mamata Banerjee. It has no value to the people of the state. In villages, where people are suffering, who knows Amartya Sen? What did he do for the state when it was in trouble? They are all opportunists,” said Ghosh. 

He further told ThePrint Banerjee is trying to hold onto everything as the ground beneath her feet is shifting.

“We will not side with dalals (agents) and jomi dakhalkari (land grabbers). They have done no good to the state and the country,” Ghosh added. 

Sen had written to Banerjee on 27 December thanking the chief minister for supporting him after he was accused by Visva-Bharati, a central university, of being in “illegal” possession of land on the campus.

“I am very happy indeed to get your wonderfully supportive letter. I am not only most touched, but also very reassured that despite the busy life you have to lead, you can find time for reassuring people under attack. Your strong voice, along with your full understanding of what is going on, for me, a tremendous source of strength,” Sen wrote.

Visva Bharati Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty had in the first week of December written to Banerjee, alleging dozens of land parcels owned by the university were wrongfully recorded in the names of private parties, including Sen.

Banerjee, who has now centred her election campaign on Bengali icons and against ‘outsiders’, reacted strongly to the letter and called the BJP a party that insults eminent personalities of the state. She also said Sen was being subjected to “such vicious attack by the present university authorities because of his ideological anti-BJP stance”.

On 25 December, Banerjee wrote to Sen, apologising to him for “some nouveau invaders in Visva-Bharati” raising “baseless allegations” over his ancestral property.

Also read: Amartya Sen has a message for Mamata: Don’t define Bengalis narrowly like BJP does

Ghosh has always attacked Amartya Sen

This is not the first time that Ghosh has attacked the Nobel laureate. 

Speaking at a programme in 2017, Ghosh had called people like Sen “spineless” who could be bought and sold. 

Last year, during the Lok Sabha election campaign, Ghosh had called the noted economist a person who was unaware of ground realities in Bengal. He has also repeatedly questioned Sen’s contribution to the state. 

Ghosh, meanwhile, also attacked Banerjee over her roadshow Tuesday in Santiniketan, where Union Home Minister Amit Shah had gone nine days ago as part of his two-day visit to the state. 

“Why is the chief minister carrying Tagore’s portrait in a political rally? Was he a Trinamool member? Her picture is now failing to draw people, and that is why she tries to get sympathy. She turned Amartya Sen’s land issue into a political one and managed to get a letter praising her. These tricks will not work in elections,” he added.

Also read: Amartya Sen said no democracy, with a free press, has ever had major famines


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  1. I have lived in USA for the last 34 years. I have watched in international seminars the respect Dr. Sen receives from President Barak Obama to most learned intellectuals and peer nobel laureates for his lectures, writings and poverty index theory. I can’t even read the shameful ignorant comments.

    • Very well said Mr Swaraj Chakrabarti.

      These BJP monkeys do not know how to respect wise people who have won India accolades. Dr Sen’s work in the area of famine prvention has saved millions of lives. Yet, he can be so easily sacrificed on the altar of Hindutva. Of course, today’s heroes are saffron businessmen like Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sadhguru and their pathetic ilk.

      Sad indeed.

  2. Dilip Ghosh is a School Fail Leader like most of the BJP leaders. People like him do not deserve to even lick the feet of Amartaya Sen, He is a STIGMA in the name of a Bengali. What he needs a good kick in the ass .

  3. Of course, Bengal will probably go the communal and majoritarian way this time,but salute to Mr.Amartya Sen for showing the courage and conviction even at this age knowing fully well what’s in store for him.

  4. Why have you not touched upon the point of why his daughter has being paid salaries despite being a no show at the university for months

  5. Sen has gone crazy with modi derangement syndrome, like most commies, lefties and jihadis. Let him rot in his own internal hate.

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