Corruption not new to India: Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen said that in a coalition govt, the Prime Minister is bound by certain compulsions even as his level of integrity was "exceptional".

New Delhi: Noting that corruption is nothing new in the country, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has said that it cannot be associated only with the present dispensation as the story will be the same had there been investigations into the previous government`s tenure.

"You can shoot Manmohan Singh, you can shoot his successor, but the main problem still remains. You have the satisfaction of two heads that you can hang up in your wall
but the problem will remain the same," he said.

In an interview to a news channel, he also suggested that in a coalition government,
the Prime Minister is bound by certain compulsions even as his level of integrity was "exceptional".

"If you recognise there is a systematic problem in the nature of the society and in the nature of politics, social and economic morality that have come to prevail, the
answers that have to be sought is how to deal with them rather than say I accuse you," he said.

He was also of the view that corruption was not new in this country and this government.

"I think corruption in the present government are clearly quite large. But I do not think that they are a new phenomenon. If there had been investigations in the previous
government, the story would have been much the same."

Sen also said people were gradually realising the magnitude of the corruption problem.

"The fact is there are so much scam and corruption around is sad. The recognition of that is also sad. And yet the recognition of it is also the way of doing something about

"I do not think scams and corruption in any sense is new in India but the fact that people are recognizing it more clearly, that must be a rather positive thing," he said.

He was also of the opinion that public critique has to be intelligent and addressed to issues which can be changed, are important and on which the general public could be made to take an informed interest and act.