As a Citizen Don’t Want a PM Like Modi : Amartya Sen


New Delhi: Months after Nobel laureate Amrtya Sen withdrew his candidature as chancellor of Nalanda University, he now accused Narendra Modi led government of seizing direct control over academic institutions.

Talking to the daily, Sen said: “I was certainly ousted from Nalanda”.

Sen, however, chose to maintain his silence when asked whether he believes that his ouster was directly related to the fact that during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he had said that, “as an Indian citizen, I do not want Narendra Modi to be the prime minister of India.”

Sen has candidly written about his exit from Nalanda University in a 4,000-word essay, which will be published in August issue of the New York Review of Books.

Ahead of the publication of the essay, Sen talked to a newspaper and hit out at the government for “extraordinarily large” interference in academia.

In an interview to Times of India, the Nobel laureate also expressed his worries about cut in budgets for health and education.

“I have never been anti-industry but no country can become an industrial giant with an uneducated and unhealthy labour force,” Sen said.

“Some members of the Board, especially the foreign members were keen on carrying on the battle for me but I stepped aside as I did not want to be an ineffective leader. The government may have held up finances or statues had I continued.”

Notably, Sen on February 20 withdrew his candidature as chancellor of Nalanda University, alleging that the government does not want him to continue to head the prestigious multi-country initiative.

Sen, whose term as chancellor ends in July, was unanimously picked by the Nalanda University governing board at its last meeting January 13-14 this year.

He will be replaced by George Yeo, former foreign minister of Singapore.