‘Worrying’ that scholars can now be influenced by their own likes and dislikes and not facts: Sitharaman | India News


BOSTON: It is “concerning” that academics may now be influenced and “imprisoned” for their own likes and dislikes rather than commenting on the facts, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman he said, while beating the Nobel Prize Amartya sen for his views on the BJP government.
During a conversation hosted by the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government on Tuesday, the Harvard professor asked Sitharaman Lawrence Summers that “number of people in our community”, in particular the economist Sen, has expressed “quite strong reservations” about the BJP government.
He said there is a sense that the legacy of tolerance “has been highly questioned” and that the attitude taken by “his government towards the Muslim population is something that stands between the United States, given our values ​​of universalism and inclusion, and India. . ”
During the conversation at Harvard Kennedy School, Sitharaman said that even the issue of violence in states not ruled by the BJP “will be at the prime minister’s door because that fits my narrative.”
Sitharaman said that he respects “Dr. Amartya Sen, whom you mentioned ”and“ I think for each one of us ”,“ he goes to India, he moves freely and he finds out what is happening. That in itself would help us know, particularly an academic, who is speaking based on facts. ”
“No. It is worrying that academics may now be more influenced by their personal likes and dislikes rather than commenting on the basis of facts. It is truly concerning that academics may be imprisoned for their own likes and dislikes, rather than being fair-minded, look at the facts and data before them and then speak up, ”he said.
“It is one thing to have an opinion and another totally different to be based on facts. If opinions become my bias, there is no way I can counteract it, ”Sitharaman said.
He said that “sometimes it is an effort similar to waking someone who pretends to sleep. If you are really sleeping, I can touch your shoulder and say, “Please wake up.” But if you pretend to sleep, will you wake up? You can’t, you won’t. And I will fool myself into thinking that I am waking you up. ”
She told the audience that in India, “law and order is an issue that each province has its own.”
If in the United States, a particular state has a problem, it may not be a problem that the president of the United States will have to deal with, but the governor of that state.
“That is the case even in India. There are provinces that are not governed by the party to which the prime minister belongs. Even last night, not the day before yesterday night, not even last night in a state governed by… not the party to which the prime minister belongs, crimes have been committed, the poorest of the poor have been beaten, some killed.
“But even that will be on the Prime Minister’s door because that fits my narrative. It is not correct because in that state, in that province, law and order are governed by the elected prime minister of that region, who is not even a party man for the prime minister. Modi,” she said.
Sitharaman said, “Tell me how many people have criticized Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi with such disparaging words, calling him by nicknames, abusing him. Have any of them been touched, been questioned? Whereas in states not governed by the BJP, when the chief ministers have been questioned, the first thing is to arrest them and put them in jail. I will name the states where this has happened.
“In fact, some of them are still languishing in jail for having spoken ill of a particular elected chief minister who belongs to an opposition party. Would the same group of scholars who are talking about Prime Minister Modi also comment on those states and say what is happening: the tolerant culture of India? “, Said.
He recalled that in 2014, when Modi came to power, there were a series of attacks on churches.
“And there again there were voices. People returned their awards, the Padma awards that we give in the country, the highest civil awards, saying ‘this government is against minorities, look at the way Christians are treated. Churches are attacked, “she said.
He said that each state in which this happened had its own investigation, committees and police belonging to the respective states.
“The prime minister had nothing to do with it. You would be surprised to learn that each of these attacks after proper investigation turned out to have nothing to do with the prime minister, nothing to do with the BJP, nothing to do with any communal angle.
“But the blame was placed on the prime minister’s door. The awards were returned saying, ‘uff, it’s hard for me to live in this country, oh my minorities are being offended.’ It turned out that none of them had anything to do with the communal angle, and none of them with the BJP or the prime minister, ”he said.
He added that similarly, after 2019, when Prime Minister Modi returned with an even better and stronger mandate, “this campaign that continues to say that there is communal violence, communal whatever.
“Again, a matter of law and order being a state issue. Each state has its own. In states where parties that don’t care about the BJP, there has been atrocious violence. Is that also something the prime minister should answer? ”.

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