Nobel laureate Amartya Sen backs Naseeruddin Shah

NEW DELHI: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Sunday came out in support of Naseeruddin Shah, who recently stoked controversy on India’s prevalent intolerance.

The 85-year-old economist said that not tolerating people’s opinion is about lacking power of thinking and harassing people is unacceptable.

“The present situation in the country must change,” Sen, a noted economist, said.

According to Sen, many universities in the country are suffering, their freedom and autonomy are at stake and other institutions are also not at ease.

Asked about the troll reaction following actor Naseeruddin Shah’s statement on India’s prevalent intolerance, the veteran economist said: “He is being harassed in many ways and we will strongly protest against it”.

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The National Award-winning actor, “angry” about the rise of mob violence, had said “poison” has spread in the Indian society where at some places, the death of a cow is given more significance than of a police officer, an indirect reference to the recent Bulandshahr violence where a police officer was killed allegedly by cow vigilantes.

Looking forward to the general election, Sen said: “Even the journalists are losing freedom which is not acceptable. The election is approaching, let’s see what happens”.

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68-year-old Naseeruddin Shah was called a “Namak-Haram” (traitor) and a “Trojan horse” for Friday’s video, uploaded by the human rights watchdog Amnesty India, where he alleged that “those who stand against the injustice (in India) are having their voices silenced.”

In a 2.13-minute solidarity video, speaking in Urdu, Shah says, “In the name of religion, walls of hate are being erected. Innocents are being killed. The country is awash with horrific hatred and cruelty.”

With agency inputs

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