“As an Indian, I am not proud”, says Amartya Sen on abrogation of Article 370

New Delhi | Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen on Monday has criticised Centre’s move to revoke Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

“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”, he told a news channel.

He spoke about the ongoing rumours that the scrapping of Article 370 and 35 will now allow other Indian citizens staying outside of the state to buy their land, which was earlier prohibited.

He said, “This is something in which Kashmiris have a legitimate point of view because it is their land”.

Since the Narendra Modi-led government has abrogated in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, criticisms and approvals have been pouring in ever since.

He was also critical of the government’s decision to keep the mainstream political leaders of Jammu and Article 370 Kashmir under arrest.

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“I don’t think you will ever have fairness and justice without hearing the voices of the leaders of the people and if you keep thousands of leaders under restraint and many of them in jail, including big leaders who have led the country and formed governments in the past … you are stifling the channel of democracy that makes democracy a success,” Amartya Sen said.

When asked that the government has described its decision to place J&K under a blanket as a preventive measure, he called the reasoning as a “classic colonial excuse”, and said, “That’s how the British ran the country for 200 years”.

“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 asserted.

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