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Netaji’s vision of equity and justice badly needed today: Amartya Sen

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Kolkata: Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on Saturday said Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s vision of equity and justice was badly required in all spheres of life.

Even as he expressed interest in the secret Netaji files that are being declassified by the central government, Sen said it was far more important to debate Netaji’s life and work than his death.

“Netaji’s vision of equity and justice remain exemplary and profound today. Unfortunately, that vision remained unrealized and the governments of independent India did not do enough to pursue that vision. The present government is doing even less,” Sen said here.

The eminent economist along with veteran actress Sharmila Tagore participated in the birth anniversary celebrations of Bose at the Netaji Bhavan here.

“We are in a situation, where Netaji’s vision is very badly needed in every sphere of life. Right now in the country, there is a sense of communalism being created so much so that secularism is being considered a bad word,” Sen said.

“I don’t think the majority, the Hindus have anything against the Muslims, Christians or Jews or Parsees, I think this is a constructed political agenda, and if we have to fight that, we have to follow Netaji’s vision of equity and justice,” added Sen.

On the issue of the declassification of Netaji files, Sen said he was interested to see what was there in the files, but it was far more important to debate his life and work, to follow his vision, rather than to discuss in what circumstances he died. (IANS)(Photo: www.topnews.in)

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“The Argumentative Indian” : Amartya Sen documentary Director says ‘No’ in formal response to CBFC

The film, which is structured as a conversation between Sen and his student and internationally known economist, Kaushik Basu, covers a span of 15 years (2002-2017)

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Documentary on Amartya Sen
Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences. Wikimedia Commons
  • Suman Ghosh has said NO to CBFC regarding their recommendations on the director’s documentary
  • CBFC told the director that the film would be released only if he complies with the boards suggestion to beep out words like “cow”
  • ‘The Argumentative Indian’ is structured as a conversation between Amartya Sen and his student, Kaushik Basu

New Delhi, August 10, 2017: Suman Ghosh, director of The Argumentative Indian– a documentary on Amartya Sen, who earlier refused to follow the Central Board of Film Certification’s diktat, has on Tuesday said that he has formally said ‘NO’ to the CBFC regarding the recommendations.

CBFC told the national award winning director, that his film would be released with a U/A (parental guidance) certificate only if he complies with the board’s suggestions to beep out words like “cow”, “Gujarat”, “Hindutva view of India” and “Hindu India”, which have been used in the context of the present political climate in the country.

“I came to know it is an online process now where you can only opt for ‘yes’ if you accept their (CBFC) suggestions or ‘no’ if you reject their suggestions… After verbally communicating with me on July 11, later on they sent me the letter bearing the same suggestions to keep on mute six parts (both words and phrases)—‘Gujarat’, ‘in India’, ‘Hindu’, ’cow’, ‘these days’ and ‘Hindutva’ for granting ‘U’ certification. In my formal response I opted for ‘no’ option as there is no question of reconsidering my stand of effecting not a single cut in an Amartya Sen documentary,” said Ghosh.

“But since if a director says no in such situations, his film has to go to the revising committee, I guess I have to appear before the revising committee now in Mumbai,” he further mentioned.

Ghosh stated his busy shooting schedule for a feature film, the reason of delay in his formal online response.

However, when the Nobel Laureate himself was asked about the matter, he chose to stay away from the controversy. “What can I say about this? This film is not made by me. I am the subject of the film and the subject should not be talking about these things. The director Suman Ghosh would say whatever needs to be said… Do not want to start a discussion on this. If the government has any disapproval about the film made on me, it has to be discussed with the concerned stakeholders,” Sen said.

Ghosh had earlier mentioned that he would approach the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), if the matter gets resolved at the revising committee level.

“The attitude of the censor board just underlines the relevance of the documentary in which Sen highlights the growing intolerance in India. Such scrutiny of any criticism of the government in a democratic country is shocking. There is no way I would agree to beep or mute or change anything that one of the greatest minds of our times has said in the documentary,” Ghosh told The Telegraph

Also read: Kolkata: Special Screening of Amartya Sen documentary “An Argumentative Indian” on July 10

According to the quint report, the CBFC move was dubbed as “preposterous” by CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury. “On what basis can a documentary on an Indian Nobel Prize winner be stopped just because it mentions cow or Hindutva?” he asked.

In the documentary, Sen speaks of social choice theory, development economics and the rise of right wing nationalism across the world. The film, which is structured as a conversation between Sen and his student and internationally known economist, Kaushik Basu, covers a span of 15 years (2002-2017).

“So many of our democratic rights are being violated but nothing much is happening…. I think we are not responding and that worries me,” said Ghosh, after a private screening of the documentary at Nandan III.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Reason to worry over Communal Violence in Basirhat, says Nobel laureate Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen clearly sees reasons to worry over the communal riots erupted between two communities at Baduria on July 3 night over a Facebook post by a youth

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Amartya Sen, communal violence
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Monday said there is a "reason to worry" over the communal violence in Basirhat. Wikimedia
  • The communal violence that has engulfed pockets in Basirhat sub-division of West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district are indeed worrisome
  • Violence erupted between two communities at Baduria on July 3 night over a Facebook post by a youth
  • In no time  the violence spread to various pockets in Basirhat

Kolkata, July 10, 2017: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Monday said there is a “reason to worry” over the communal violence that has engulfed pockets in Basirhat sub-division of West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district.

“Why is it happening? Is it because someone is inciting it? We are all worried. How much political mischief is to be blamed for this? We have to ponder all these. There is a reason to worry over this,” Sen told a television channel here when asked about it.

“Bengal has a culture of co-existence of Hindu-Muslim communities and for a long time this co-existence was possible without any communalism, and suddenly this returns. We can’t be dismayed over this and let this be, thinking there is nothing to do in this matter… We have to take measures to get rid of these things,” he said.

The celebrated economist is in the city to attend the screening of a documentary on him directed by Suman Ghosh.

ALSO READKolkata: Special Screening of Amartya Sen documentary “An Argumentative Indian” on July 10

Violence erupted between two communities at Baduria on July 3 night over a Facebook post by a youth.

He was soon arrested but violence broke out with mobs attacking shops and houses, torching vehicles, including those of police, and putting up road blockades.

Several police personnel sustained injuries as the violence spread to various pockets in Basirhat. (IANS)

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Kolkata: Special Screening of Amartya Sen documentary “An Argumentative Indian” on July 10

Suman Ghosh's documentary, "An Argumentative Indian", traces the life and work of Sen and explores the intellectual giant's formative years and their influence on his world view

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Amartya Sen, communal violence
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Monday said there is a "reason to worry" over the communal violence in Basirhat. Wikimedia
  • The documentary, “An Argumentative Indian”, traces the life and work of Sen, one of the greatest living economists and philosophers of the world
  • The narrative takes the viewers from his childhood days at Shantiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, to his college in Kolkata (then Calcutta) and his academic career in the US and Britain
  • The hour-long documentary is structured as a free-flowing conversation between Sen and his student and Cornell economics professor Kaushik Basu

Kolkata, June 28, 2017: A documentary on Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, which was filmed for 15 years by director Suman Ghosh, will be specially screened here on July 10 in the presence of the celebrated economist, according to a statement.

The documentary, “An Argumentative Indian”, traces the life and work of Sen, one of the greatest living economists and philosophers of the world, and explores the intellectual giant’s formative years and their influence on his world view.

The hour-long documentary, structured as a free flowing conversation between Sen and his student and Cornell economics professor Kaushik Basu, has already been screened in New York and London.

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Through the conversation, the narrative takes the viewers from his childhood days at Shantiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, to his college in Kolkata (then Calcutta) and his academic career in the US and Britain, where he was the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University.

The audience would learn about Sen’s intellectual roots; his views on Social Choice Theory; Development Economics; on Philosophy and the current rise of nationalism in the world as embodied by US President Donald Trump and the Hindutva wave in India.

ALSO READNetaji’s vision of equity and justice badly needed today: Amartya Sen

Views from other eminent scholars, Paul Samuelson, Kenneth Arrow, Sugata Bose, Timothy Scanlon and former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, enrich the viewer’s understanding of the world of Sen, the statement quoted Ghosh as saying.

“I conceived of this documentary during 2000/2001. I conceived of Amartya Sen as a person whose intellectual vistas range from Sanskrit to modern political movements and his greatness consists of the amalgam of such disparate topics and fields. This Universal perspective of knowledge is rather rare in today’s world,” said Ghosh.

“Moreover, Sen’s life story, with the early influence of Rabindranath Tagore, to his fight with cancer while he was at college to his fundamental contributions for the socially and economically deprived of the world, is fascinating material. I thought it would be a great challenge to integrate his world views with his work, to look at it as one unifying narrative,” the filmmaker said.

The screening was being done in association with the non-governmental organisation Prabha Khaitan Foundation. Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee would be among the special invitees at the event.

The screening would be followed by an interactive session with Sen and the director. (IANS)