Cannot Negate Political Link Behind Religious Bias: Amartya Sen

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Kolkata: Expressing concern over religious discrimination, Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen on Friday said one cannot negate the political link behind it.

“As per the position of the people of various religions in the Indian Constitution, there should not be any discrimination,” Sen said during an educational event here.

The octogenarian felt that the current perception is highly driven by caste discrimination and differentiation on religious grounds.

According to him, if the society reaches a position where a person is being forced to utter something and being beaten up for not abiding, everyone needs to think over the urgent needs of the hour and change the perceptions accordingly.

“We cannot say that these incidents are not politically motivated,” Sen said.

Last month a man in West Bengal’s Coochbehar district was beaten up for not uttering ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The incident of Tufanganj surfaced after a video clip was circulated on social media.

In the video, a man was being made to do sit-ups holding his ears and forced to say ‘Jai Shree Ram’. The man followed helplessly.

Also, several cases of scuffle between Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party workers over chanting of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ have been reported in the state.

Sen said the ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogan has no historic connect with the Bengali culture, unlike ‘Ma Durga’ who has a big presence in Bengali psyche.

Sen said he had “never in the past heard about Ram Navami, that has now become popular in Bengal”.