Friday, Oct 31, 2014

I regret my Bharat Ratna remark on Amartya Sen: Chandan Mitra

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Posted: July 26, 2013 12:59 pm

Days after hitting out at Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen over his remarks against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Chandan Mitra has now expressed regrets over his remarks.

In an interview to a television news channel,the BJP MP conceded that he had exaggerated by saying that the Bharat Ratna must be taken away from Sen.

Though he express regrets over his statement,Mitra refused to pull off his tweets over the issue,adding that he still believed that Sen’s economics was outdated.

This came a day after the Nobel Laureate said that he was ready to return his Bharat Ratna if asked to do so by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“Mr Chandan Mitra may not know that the Bharat Ratna was given to me by the BJP-led government and was handed to me by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. If Mr Vajpayee wants me to return it,I will certainly return it,” Amartya Sen had told a television news channel.

He said it was unfortunate that such a demand had come forth and termed it as a “personal” view of Mitra.

“To get into a political debate and somebody takes a view which seems to me is rather unfair… to all the people as well… I think it is unfortunate… It is so unproductive actually,” Sen had said.

The controversy was initially sparked when Amartya Sen had said that he did not want to see BJP poll panel chief Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of the country. Sen had said that India’s Prime Minister could not be someone who generates fear in a large minority population. “As an Indian citizen I don’t want (Narendra) Modi as my PM. He has not done enough to make minorities feel safe… He could have first of all been more secular and he could have made the minority community feel more secure,” he had said.

Reacting to the sharp words of the Nobel Laureate,BJP MP Chandan Mitra had demanded that Amartya Sen must be stripped of his Bharat Ratna.

Mitra had posted a tweet saying,”Amartya Sen says he doesn’t want Modi to be India’s PM. Is Sen even a voter in India? Next NDA government must strip him of Bharat Ratna.”

“Please Dr Sen,don’t peddle your unsolicited comments on India. We now know you as a has-been economist who sells Congress line for a living,” he added.

Though the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared to distance itself from the statement of party MP Chandan Mitra,it did say that Amartya Sen “must not become a tool in the hands of Congress”.

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