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India was historically liberal, People should unite: Amartya Sen

India was historically liberal, People should unite: Amartya Sen

Kolkata: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said he is worried about the current situation in India. He added that there is a reason to be afraid now and the current situation in India has become a cause for fear.

The economist was speaking at the inauguration of the Amartya Research Centre in the Salt Lake area, Kolkata

He added that divisions should not be made along religious lines and people should work toward maintaining unity.

Speaking about the tensions between Hindu and Muslim communities, he said India was historically a liberal nation. The celebrated economist asserted that India cannot just belong to Hindus or Muslims. He noted the need to stay united in line with traditions.

He added: "I want the country to be united. We have to work together". Sen further noted that India cannot be a country of Hindus only and Muslims alone cannot make India. "Everyone has to work together".

The Nobel laureate expressed concern that the biggest crisis India is facing at this juncture is the "collapse of the nation". He pointed out it is "extraordinary" that colonial laws are being used to put people behind bars. He was referring to the recent arrest of activist Teesta Setalvad by Gujarat police.

Highlighting the importance of the judiciary, he noted that the Indian judiciary often overlooks the dangers of fragmentation. "For a secure future, there needs to be a balance between the judiciary, the legislature, and the bureaucracy. He added that this is missing in India and it is scary.

He observed that only tolerance is not enough to face the current situation. "The need of the hour is that Hindus and Muslims should work together. India has an inherent culture of being tolerant. Majority was not the end of all".

He stressed that the Muslim culture is part of India's vibrant history. "Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan's eldest son, translated 50 Upanishads from the original Sanskrit to Persian. This enabled the world to know about Hindu scriptures, cultures, and traditions".

He also criticised the rewriting and erasure of history. "Even though the environment around us might try to change the history and remove Muslim influence, we all know that truth can't be tampered with". The economist encouraged people to take the risk and fight to safeguard the nation's shared history and truths, reported Times of India.

Shedding more light on different cultures blending in India, he said the ragas and music by Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan are proof that people of different religions can create magic by collaborating.

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TAGS:Amartya Sen religious tolerance Hindu Muslim unity 
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