NEW DELHI: Indian Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen has vehemently criticised the Indian government’s move of repealing special status of the occupied Kashmir.
“As an Indian I am not proud of the fact that India has lost the reputation of being a democratic country on the grounds of action that it has taken in Kashmir,” he said in an interview in New Delhi.
Dr Amartya Sen, who is an economist and philosopher, said he did not think that India would ultimately have any resolution in Kashmir without democracy, Kashmir Media Service reported.
Pointing out the loopholes in the government’s decision on multiple levels, the 85-year-old said, “As an Indian, I am not proud of the fact that India, after having done so much to achieve a democratic norm in the world — where India was the first non-Western country to go for democracy — that we lose that reputation on the grounds of action that have been taken.”
India earlier this month ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and divided the territory into two union territories.
Amid anticipation about the possibility of buying land in Jammu and Kashmir by people from Indian states, Dr Sen said it should have been “something for the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide”.
“This is something in which Kashmiris have a legitimate point of view because it is their land,” he said. He was also critical of the Indian government’s decision to keep the political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir under arrest.
The Indian government has described its decision to place Jammu and Kashmir under a lockdown as ‘preventive measures’ to prevent backlash that might cost lives.
“That’s the classic colonial excuse. That’s how the British ran the country for 200 years,” Dr Sen said. “The last thing that I expected when we got our independence… is that we would go back to our colonial heritage of preventive detentions,” he added.