viernes, 14 de diciembre de 2018

Economic Graffiti: The anti-argumentative Indian | Opinion News, The Indian Express

Economic Graffiti: The anti-argumentative Indian | Opinion News, The Indian Express

Economic Graffiti: The anti-argumentative Indian

More disappointing than the attacks on Amartya Sen is that leaders in government have not countered the chant of abusive trolls.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s observation on “mobocracy”, Sen said that “Dalits and minorities have become victims of organised killing” and the government has to take responsibility.
Amartya Sen.
Amartya Sen is an iconic world figure. In that treacherous space between economics and philosophy, he may well be the most famous living personality, having published papers in the world’s best philosophy journals and the most highly-regarded economics journals. When he got the Nobel Prize for economics in 1998, it did not come as a surprise to anyone in the profession. I have a confession though. That year, I was visiting the World Bank and there was a Nobel lottery among the staff. Having taken a bet on Sen the previous two year’s and lost, I decided it was time to change my guess. And I lost my money again.
I was fortunate to do my PhD with Amartya Sen. In fact, it was his lectures at the London School of Economics in the mid-1970s in jam-packed auditoriums, with students spilling over on to window sills, that made me change my life-long career plan to be a lawyer.
I first met Sen, fleetingly, in Delhi, when I was a student at St Stephen’s College, and he was a professor at the Delhi School of Economics. But I got to know him properly in London in 1972 when I joined the London School. I did my PhD with him, when he was at the height of his career, working mainly on social choice theory, mathematical logic and moral philosophy.

There is no surprise, then, that Sen has been a major influence on me, and that I often cite his works in my writings. What has been a shocking experience in the last three or four years is the amount of trolling attacks unleashed on Sen whenever he is cited in popular writings; these come almost entirely from India. The attacks do not have any substance. Clearly, those crafting the attacks, if crafting is the word, do not have the capacity for serious debate. So what they unleash is merely a volley of completely fact-free name calling. Sen, they scream, is an agent of the Congress party, he is a slave of the West, a brainless puppet and they go on, using language so crude that it is not worth repeating.

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