NEW DELHI — In a scathing attack on BJP ‘supporting’ its ideology and movement of changing names of the cities and other places, to match their historical research, Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen, while talking to NDTV, suggested the renaming of two things — the “science” that claims Kauravas were test-tube babies, and Nalanda, the university which no longer conforms to the Buddhist ideals it once stood for.
Dr Sen also urged those attacking Naseeruddin Shah to desist.
“Every human being has the right to an opinion, a right to express and resist what he thinks is wrong,” he said.
Dr Sen spoke his heart out on the prevalent atmosphere of intolerance in India and the newly found attitude of a certain section of society to discard scientific theories in support of mythical ideologies, and use of religion to confuse scientific research and development.
Speaking to NDTV after a seminar at Asiatic Society in Kolkata on Tuesday, Dr Sen mentioned about the Nalanda University, of which he is former Chancellor and said “Nalanda is a prime educational institute in India and a Buddhist foundation. But Nalanda is not functioning today in conformity with heritage to what Nalanda stood for.”
Dr Sen quit Nalanda as its chancellor back in February 2015 after differences with the BJP-led government at the centre.
Asked about the recent name change like Prayagraj and Ayodhya, Dr Sen said, “I would be in favour of a name change for Nalanda because the university no longer conforms to what Nalanda stood for. It is no longer of the Nalanda tradition,” he said.
Regarding the claims at the recent Indian Science Congress about the Kauravas from the Mahabharata being test-tube babies, Dr Sen said, “I am in favour of giving it a word of its own rather than science — that Kauravas were test tube babies. In the name of science they are doing something else.”
With elections round the corner, would he want Naseeruddin Shah and others who have come under attack by the right wing to be patient, Dr Sen said, “I don’t want anyone to be patient. I think impatience is the most important virtue we have to cultivate.”
“I think India has suffered a lot with super patience with inequality with injustice on one side and absurdity on the other. Test tube babies is not injustice. It is an absurdity that we should be impatient with,” he added.
(With inputs from NDTV)