New Delhi: Eminent economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen Saturday said that rights activist Binayak Sen, who has been sentenced to life term for sedition over his alleged links with Maoists, has been "unjustifiably prosecuted".
"Binayak Sen has been unjustifiably prosecuted, as a citizen of the country I want to ask the question, is the decision correct?," the economist said after releasing a book on Binayak Sen.
He also extended supported to author Arundhati Roy who was recently blamed for sedition for her speech favouring separatists in Kashmir. She was, however, not booked for sedition.
"This raises other questions like on Arundhati Roy. It was said that her speech hurt the patriotic sentiment. We don't have any obligation to express only patriotic sentiment," he said.
Speaking on the life sentence to Binayak Sen, he said: "The first question is whether the evidences are correct. Secondly, if it is correct, how can passing letters be sedition. I may post a letter for some one without knowing the content, that does not make it sedition."
Binayak Sen was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Chhattisgarh court Dec 24, 2010 for sedition and his alleged links with Maoists.
Sen explained that sedition was an act of pulling the state down by violence, which doctor Binayak Sen never did.
"There was no sedition committed in my view. There are no indications to suggest that Binayak was involved in violence, or preached violence. If anything can be seen from his writing, he was against sedition," he said.
"I am not committing any sedition myself by saying this."
He also expressed hope that law will take its own course and the activist would get justice in higher courts.
"He is a doctor who could have earned a huge amount of money at home or abroad, but he decided to serve people. This is just the intermission, he will come back and serve the people again," he added.
A doctor by profession, Binayak Sen, who is also the vice-president of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), was awarded by the US-based Global Health Council for his work in global health and human rights in 2008 when he was in a Chhattisgarh jail.
First Published: Saturday, January 08, 2011, 23:27