H C Singh

The Augmentative India by Amaratya Sen

Writing on Indian culture, History and Identity.

Dialogues between Krishna and Arjuna which appears in Bhagwat Gita are impressive and educative and lasting.

          It is priority of doing ones duty….. “Krishna insists on Arjuna’s duty to fight, irrespective of his valuation of the consequences. It is a just cause and as a warrior and General on whom his side must rely obligation, no matter what the consequences are”. Arjuna’s profound doubts are not really vanquished ‘no matter what the message of Bhagwat Gita is meant to be. There remains a powerful case for faring well’ and not just ‘forward’.  

          Despite the compulsions to ‘fare forward’ there was reason also for reflecting of Arjuna’s concern. “How can good come from killing so many people? And why should I seek victory. Kingdom or happiness for my own side.”  

          This argument of Arjuna in dialogue with Krishna impressed the leader of the team which developed weapon of mass destruction during the Second World War- J Robert Oppenheimer was moved to quote Krishan’s words. ( I am become the death, the destroyer of worlds is when he saw on July 16, 1945 the awesome force of the first nuclear explosion devised by man.)  

          How can good come from killing so many people. But USA did not realize or regret but dropped another atom bomb in Nagasaki in Japan. 

          Amaratya Sen has talked a lot about Hindus and Hindutava, Muslims, Akbar and others, Christians coming to India in 4th century but has not mentioned about Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh, Khalsa’s fights against Muslim terrorism. Auranzeb’s killing of Guru Tech Bahadur in Chandani Chowk or even about Guru Granth Sahib which contains verses of Hindu saints like Namdev and Muslim Sufis like Farid and Kabir. He has only mentioned about Sikhs in few lines at the end about anti Sikh riots after assassination of Indira Gandhi because the congress Government has not done anything to punish the criminals who were led by congressmen. He has not mentioned even about Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s conquest upto Khyber Pass. This is sad omission by Amaratya Sen in such an historic volume which has been acclaimed as “product of a great mind at the peak of its power “(Sunday Times)

            But as outlined on prepage there are some important contributions and references by the one who won Nobel Prize second Bengali and 4th Indian. The so called Song of ‘creation’ in Vedas ends with the following radical doubts. 

          “Who really knows, who will here proclaim it? Where produced? Where is this creation? The gods came after words with the creation of their universe who then knows when it has arisen?”

          “When this creation has arisen- perhaps it formed itself or perhaps it did not- and the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows or perhaps he does not know.”  

          This is one of the most important quotations from Vedas which makes Amaratya Sen and others to know how blind faith on anything in any saying is not worthy. It is important and rational like Arjuna to examine or think before taking a step. It is much more important for leaders like George Bush of USA to think of the consequences in death and devastation before ordering attack on Iraq and prior to that sending US Army to Afghanistan. Other leaders of nations including China and India should also do the same. Had Chinese leaders bothered to think on these lines there would not have been 1962 war with India. Had Pakistan, immediately after its creation not trained and armed tribals from NWFP to Kashmir there would have been lasting peace between India and Pakistan.  

          In a recent interview, Amartya Sen Nobel Laureate had all the praise for Manmohan, as he called him, both for his economic policy of liberalism as well as his courteous behavior with every one whether it is “George Bush or King of Bhutan”. It will interest everyone to quote Amartya Sen as under:

          “I don’t think these policies have been neo-liberal. Had they been we would have done much worse in economic crises. As an old friend may I say that people seem to miss? He is immensely well behaved with absolutely everybody, people say things like “when I saw him with Bush he looked so happy and so supportive” . But you see any picture of Manmohan and he always looks friendly and supportive….. I would defy you to find a picture of Manmohan looking angrily at any one. I haven’t seen one in 54 years I have known him.  Whether that is a lacuna in a politician…. But if there is a fault, it is a fault of generosity and courteousness.”     

          I don’t Think what glowing tribute Amartya Sen had paid to our Prime Minister, as an economist, as a courteous politician and as a superb smiling  human being, Amartya Sen has paid to any other living politician or economist in India and even abroad.

November 25, 2009 Posted by | India, Indian History, Religion | , , , | Leave a comment