New Delhi: The Congress party on Saturday slammed BJP for mistreating noted economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, saying the Narendra Modi government must refrain from politicising the issue of extending his term as Chancellor of Nalanda University.
“Amartya Sen is a national treasure, and to be treated so shabbily is really unfortunate,” the party later said on micro-blogging website Twitter today.
— INC India (@INCIndia) February 21, 2015
"Amartya Sen is a "national treasure" and an ''asset'' to our country. His work in the field of economics, food security, education is a good contribution to the country. There is no reason why they (the government) should not extend his term. I hope they have a change of heart and not politicise this issue," party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar told the media here.
Sen, a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, on Thursday brought to light the delay by the Centre in clearing his name for for a second term.
In a letter to the university's governing board that had unanimously recommended his name for an extension, Sen "excluded" himself from continuing in the role after his term ends in July.
Mincing no words, Sen observed that academics in the country remains "deeply vulnerable to the opinions of the ruling government".
The Centre, however, clarified yesterday that no attempt was being made to curtail Dr Amartya Sen's tenure as Nalanda University Chancellor.
“There is no attempt to curtail Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's tenure as Nalanda University Chancellor,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson was quoted as saying by the PTI.
MEA is yet to receive approved minutes of the meeting of Governing Board of Nalanda University, the PTI quoted the MEA spokesperson as saying.
The reaction from the government came hours after Sen, who is one of the world's most celebrated economists and thinkers, hit out at the BJP government for pressurising him not to pursue a second term as the Chancellor of Nalanda University.