I am not a great expert on economics nor even a good student of the subject and naturally I do not count much in any circle or area that has something to do with economics or financial policy decision making.
Unfortunately the Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has created lot of negative impact. I take the liberty to address him like this because of the huge prize Indians are paying as the government is taking his advices seriously and implementing them.
I wonder how and why he got that Nobel Prize and immediately Vajpayee too jumped about and gave him the Bharath Ratna [ anyway most of the Nobel prizes for peace and economics are pure humbug and always questionable- to know more about the dirty politics behind these two categories of Nobel prize along with Literature also all of you may read two books written some 30+ years back by Irwing wallace 1. The Prize and 2. The writing of the novel Prize, incidentally he himself was in the Nobel Committee]
The one thing that every British University teaches for its students of any subject is History, especially students of economics, at least their version history. It is unfortunate that Sen has not read properly even their version[ I mean the British version] of different histories of India even if he cannot read the great works by Indian authors in Indian Languages. At least let him read the works like Will Durant's ten volume Story of Civilization which was written after almost 50 years of research and documentation by him and his wife or Dance's History for a United world or Paul Johnson's books, or Norman Douglas' works on India just to name a few books that I have read several times and which I feel would make Sen know something about Indian History. I can give a whole bibliography of excellent books on Indian books on Indian History written by foreigners so that you cannot blame me for bias.
Even they knew facts but unfortunately the perverted leftist indoctrination of the Indian variety which normally blocks thinking, stops appreciating our rich cultural heritage has in Sen's case even prevented him from reading history of India properly.
Even that is not a big mistake but it is grave error and big crime to misuse big platforms and mouth his ignorance,lies and half baked knowledge on a subject on which no one asks him to talk.
This negative impact of senility of an indoctrinated and biased pseudo intellectual is a catastrophe in field.
Now read the article on Amartya Sen below
Amartya Sen’s understanding of Indian history -- Prof. Shivaji Singh
Amartya Sen’s understanding of Indian history -- Prof. Shivaji Singh
‘India has produced only two great kings, Ashoka and Akbar, and none of the two was a Hindu - Ashoka was a Buddhist and Akbar a Muslim!’ This was the startling statement of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen as reported in an issue of the popular English magazine Outlook years ago. I was amused and did not take it seriously; only thought Sen would have done better had he confined his judgements to economics - his area of specialization - without unnecessarily trespassing into the field of Indian history to make such a provocative pronouncement.
But, later on, when I came to know that he has been appointed by the Government of India as chairman of Nalanda Mentor Group to direct affairs relating to the establishment of Nalanda International University aimed at reviving the famous center of higher learning that once existed at Nalanda in ancient times, I realized that Sen’s understanding or misunderstanding of Indian history is not just his personal matter, it concerns us all.
Could Ashoka ever imagine that he was not a Hindu? Were Hinduism and Buddhism separate religions in his time? Ashoka’s edicts and inscriptions, engraved on rocks and pillars, repeatedly designate him as ‘devanampriyah’ (beloved of gods). It may be asked: Who were those ‘devas’ (gods) that were thought to love him? They were certainly Hindu devas, for the Buddhist pantheon was not yet in existence. So, how can one say that Ashoka was not a Hindu even in the present (distorted religious) sense of the term.
And, if a deviation from mainstream Hinduism could disqualify Ashoka sufficiently enough to oust him from the Hindu fold, can Akbar be said to remain a Muslim after founding a new religion known as Deen-e-Ilahi? I wonder if Amartya Sen has ever pondered over these issues!
In fact, Sen’s above observation is objectionable on three basic counts. First, it is totally uncalled for. Why such a statement at all, unless you want to belittle Hindu achievements at least in political arena. Secondly, are only those kings great whom the western scholars have entitled as such? What is the criterion to declare a king great? Were Samudragupta and Chandragupta of the Gupta dynasty not great kings? Thirdly and most importantly, should anybody make such a sweeping statement in the field of history on a second hand knowledge of the subject? Let me explain this last point a bit more.
Sen must know that history is no less complex a discipline than economics. Categories and concepts in history have evolved and devolved through time. The initial connotations of many terms have expanded and shortened in course of time and some have even acquired an opposite sense. So, one needs to be very careful in using a term whose meaning has not remained constant. ‘Hindu’ indeed is such a word.
The original word is ‘Sindhu’. How did this word originate, nobody knows definitely. It appears to belong to the earliest repertory of human speech. It was prevalent much before the earliest hymns of the Rigveda were composed. By the Rigvedic age it had already acquired several senses. It meant a ‘river’ in general; it was used as the name of a prominent river, now known to the English speaking world as Indus; it had the sense of an ‘ocean’. Besides, it indicated a ‘riverside land’ as well. ‘Sindhu’ acquired many more connotations later on, such as a symbolical term for the number 4, or a name of God Varuna (as lord of ocean) and the like, but that is not very important to note.
What is noteworthy is the fact that from the very beginning the term was used to denote a ‘riverside land’ as well. This distinct meaning is attested to by its usage. The land stretching from Sindhu in the West to Sarasvati in the East was known as Saptasindhavah, that is, the ‘Land of Seven Rivers’. Five rivers of the Punjab plus Sindhu and Sarasvati that bracketed them constituted this set of seven rivers. The Avesta is aware of this Seven Rivers’ Land and its name, but calls it ‘Haptahindu’ as ancient Iranians could pronounce ‘sa’ only as ‘ha’, much like many Greeks who pronounce ‘ha’ as ‘kha’.
It is clear, then, that the word ‘Hindu’ is the same as ‘Sindhu’ and its meaning ‘a riverside land’ is one of its earliest connotations. It is basically a geographical term in all its senses with no religious implication whatsoever.
The use of ‘Hindu’ in place of ‘Sindhu’ soon became quite popular mainly because of increased Persian contacts in the 6th century BCE, but its meaning ‘riverside land’ continued as such. The Persian emperors Darius I and Xerxes I, who ruled one after the other from 522 BCE to 465 BCE, use the term in this very sense in their inscriptions. The situation remained the same during the following twelve to thirteen hundred years and the word ‘Hindu’ remained purely a geographical term bereft of any religious connotation.
It was only after the rise of Islam as a politically dominant force in India that the term ‘Hindu’ was given a religious tinge. Indian society came to be divided into two broad groups, the privileged Muslims on the one side and the disadvantaged non-Muslims on the other. ‘Hindu’ became a blanket cover for all those who were not Muslims.
Buddhism came to be recognized as a religion distinct from Hinduism only after it became popular abroad and acquired certain new non-Indian traits. The difference between the status of Buddhism in India and its status outside India needs to be kept in mind. In India it was and still is one of the several Hindu religious faiths – a fact denied only by greed to benefit from State policy of appeasement to minorities.
If even an atheist Charvaka is a Hindu, how can just a heterodox Buddhist, Jain, or Sikh be said to be a non-Hindu! One expects from a distinguished scholar like Amartya Sen to distinguish between historically correct facts from politically correct ones.
Prof. Shivaji Singh
August 6, 2013
The greatest mistakes in our relationships, overall perceptions and evaluations are because we read three fourths, listen half, understand quarter, think zero and are indifferent to the impact of our actions, reactions, thoughts and words on humanity and the environment.
blogspot.in/2011/12/hinduism- what-worlds-greatest-thinkers. html
blogspot.in/2011/08/when-and- where-did-hinduism-originate. html and many more in this blog