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.

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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)