BJP Rajya Sabha MP and proprietor-editor-in-chief of The Pioneer newspaper Chandan Mitra has demanded that Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen be stripped of his Bharat Ratna.
The renowned economist had said in a recent interview that he would not like to see Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the country’s Prime Minister. This riled Mr. Mitra, who tweeted: “Is Sen even a voter in India? Next NDA government must strip him of Bharat Ratna.” He went on to tell ‘Dr. Sen,’ “Don’t peddle your unsolicited comments on India. We know you as an economist who sells Congress line for a living.”
This sparked several reactions on Mr. Mitra’s timeline, with people questioning if the BJP was now against freedom of expression. The MP, however, stuck to his line, adding, “Those who are upset with my suggestion about Dr. Sen and Bharat Ratna, can you show me examples of others who do party politics after getting BR?” He went on to say that the award was a jewel of the country, and ‘Sen shouldn’t join the Congress poll team.’
Dr.Sen, while releasing a book, An Uncertain Glory, spoke of the deprivations that persisted in India despite growth rates, and the need to focus on education and health indicators. He also said he did not want as PM a person (Mr. Modi) who made minorities feel insecure, and had a ‘terrible record.’ Dr. Sen was given the Bharat Ratna by the Vajpayee-led NDA government in 1999.