The famous economist added that without democracy, it is unlikely that the Kashmir dispute will be resolved.
On Monday, NDTV reported that the economist and Nobel laureate, Amartya Sen, criticised the decision made by the current Indian administration led by PM Narendra Modi to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and to split the region into two Union Territories.
“I don’t think ultimately you will have any resolution in Kashmir without democracy,” the 85-year-old economist said. He added that the Centre’s decision emphasised majority rule “as opposed to it sustaining the rights of all human beings”.
“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,” Sen said. He also stated that Kashmiris should have been the ones to decide on the rights of land use in the region since it was their land.
Additionally, he criticised the arrests and detention of political leaders of Jammu. “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,” Sen said.
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There are currently several political leaders under detention including, former chief minister Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone, Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement leader Shah Faesal, and state Congress chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir
Sen explained that the security lock down that the government has put the region under in the name of security is a “colonial excuse”. He 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.”
On August 5, the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was ended by the Indian government. In addition to this, a security lockdown and communications blackout were imposed in the state. The government’s move in Parliament was opposed by eight parties. Nonetheless, the government’s decisions was back by Congress leaders like Yotiraditya Scindia, Janardan Dwivedi, Karan Singh, Jaiveer Shergill, Milind Deora, Aditi Singh and Bhubaneswar Kalita backed the government.
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