Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on Thursday spoke on a range of topics including the recent Supreme Court ruling that validates law enacted by Haryana that debars persons without requisite education, among other criteria, from contesting Panchayat elections.
During a discussion on his book, The Country of First Boys, at the the India International Centre, he reflected on issues that often keep him up at night.
On the panchayat election law, Sen said, “I think the judgment is wrong… I have great admiration for the Supreme Court and the Indian Constitution. But we have to distinguish between what our objectives are and what the state of the country is. If you say that everyone should have toilets at home, that doesn’t mean that until that happens, these people are not people.
“Secondly, those who don’t have the basic facilities and health care, have the strongest interest in fighting for that… That’s what happening in general; the privileged take everything and they don’t worry about the lack of privilege for others. But to institutionalise it further, must be avoided.”