Abhijit Banerjee’s friends, peers and teachers from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had one adjective for him — brilliant. Banerjee did his MA at JNU’s Centre for Economic Studies and Planning from 1981-83.
Sanjay Sharma, professor of history at Ambedkar University Delhi and his friend from JNU, said, “He was interested in cinema and music, very well read in Bangla literature, and also interested in philosophy.”
He said that though Banerjee wasn’t aligned to any student group, he felt for various causes and had “heated discussions on many topics”. It was his activism that led him to write a letter to the editor of Economic and Political Weekly in 1982 on the JNU admission policy, and, in 1983, spend 10 days in jail with 300 students for gheraoing the V-C’s residence.
Anjan Mukherjee, who taught Banerjee at CESP, said he was among his best students. “When his book came out in 2008, that is when we thought he would get the Nobel,” he said.
JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar tweeted, “This is an indication of not only his intellectual capabilities but also the quality of education imparted at JNU.”