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Friday, July 26, 2013

Dr. Amartya Sen Won’t apologize for Modi remarks

URL- http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2013/07/dr-amartya-sen-wont-apologize-for-modi.html

It was exciting to read a part of the interview of Dr. Sen about 10:30 PM tonight, Friday the 26th of July 2013. The rest of the interview will be published by Times of India on Sunday. 

Dr. Amartya Sen and Mike Ghouse at SMU

Most people appreciate when some one speaks out against the atrocities of the majorities, powerful dictators, monarchs and bullies. The politically motivated Hindu, Muslim and Christian men and women in particular appreciate it,  if it favors them.

My Hindus friends have rejoiced every time I have routinely stood up for them (incomplete list at: http://standingupforothers.blogspot.com/2012/04/standing-with-hindus.html ), but won't appreciate if a Hindu Dr. Amartya Sen does the same. 

Let me assure you this,  the good people outnumber all others 95:5, eventually  some one or the other from the majority, be it in India, America, Bolivia or South Africa, and even from Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Christians and Buddhist speaks up for the rights of the deprived, disadvantaged, women, minorities and the weak. God of all creation makes sure his creation has boundaries and has enough peace makers to prevent the world from total annihilation.
Bhagvad Gita is clear, "Whenever there is adharma, God will bring about some one to restore Dharma" and Quran beefs it up, "To every tribe, every community and every nation God sends his peace makers to keep peace."

The more people speak up, the better the world would be. So, please do your part.

This morning I defended Dr. Sen’s action with a few friends (appended below) and now, when I read the partial interview, it caused me to go searching on my blog of the similar thoughts I have struggled with. 

I have consistently advocated that the peace is the responsibility of the majority; indeed, the civility of a nation is determined by how it treats its women, children, disadvantage, the weak and the minorities. It is in the interest of the nation, particularly the responsible men and women from the political, civic or religious majorities to speak up. It is in everyone's interest for every one to walk well together and not limp.Two of the statements, I wrote resonate with Dr. Amartya Sen’s words

On March 15, 2013, a press release was sent and was published in Bangladeshi News papers and at www.WorldMuslimCongress.com , this was also a part of my speech at Bangladesh Human rights organization in Dallas.

 “The success of a nation depends when her citizens feel secure; in this case, it is   the duty of the state to ensure the safety of Hindus, Buddhist, Shia, Ahmadiyya, Christian and other minorities.

It is also the obligation of the Bangladeshi majority to continue to speak up against the brutal treatment of fellow Bangladeshis who are Hindu. Indeed, the safety of a community is the responsibility of the majority.”
URL - http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/03/muslims-condemn-brutal-attacks-on.html )

The Daily Times of Pakistan published my piece on Imran Khan, and I wrote, “Humanity in general and Muslims in particular are guided to stand up for justice. Only the civility of majority can change things. Minorities do not have a voice in Pakistan and they live on with apprehensions. The Hindu parents worry when their daughter will be abducted and forced to convert or when the Ahmadiyya girl student will be kicked out of school or their graves are desecrated, Shias ordered out of the bus and shot point blank and Christians will be framed with blasphemy charges. Societies are judged by how they treat their minorities, women and children. Good Pakistanis are letting bad things happen in their names.

A note came from a friend, “What irked me was his (Dr. Sen) comment on Modi not doing enough for the minorities.” And, “Sen does not address those issue but more interested in bad mouthing Modi on minority issues because it is a very popular and sophisticated issue.” 

My response was, “I must add that collectively different Indians have to speak on different topics - including far and against to bring different angles to the fore - Dr. Sen has picked one that he probably feels has not been given enough attention. Each one of us has to focus on many strands of democracy.”

Glad to see a positive response about democracy from my friend later.

MUMBAI: Even as the firestorm over Amartya Sen's remarks about Narendra Modi refuses to die down, the Nobel-winning economist said he had nothing to apologize for saying that he did not wish to see the Gujarat chief minister become India's next Prime Minister.

In an exclusive interview to TOI (read the full interview on Sunday), Sen pointed to his fundamental right to raise such issues and also clarified that it was his duty as a member of the majority community to speak up about the fears of minorities.

"I am not apologizing for the statement on Modi," he said, while explaining that "as an Indian citizen I am very worried that we're not doing enough on many things in public discourse, that we're not raising the right viewpoints on several issues."

'Gujarat model not good'

Defending his remarks on Gujarat CM, Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen told TOI, "I've tried to point to this when it kept being brought up about why I made that statement about Modi. I felt that as a member of the majority community in India it is my duty, not merely my right, to speak up about the concerns of the minority. We often forget that as members of the majority," Sen said.

"Despite the fact that there are many things that Modi has done as CM which are interesting and important — and I've talked about them even though when held up as a model I don't think it makes for a very good one — there's still that scare, that sense of fear," he said.

Quoting 19th-century English philosopher John Stuart Mill, who wrote that the security of minority rights really depends on the majority, Sen also pointed to how debates in the US (where he spends some time teaching at Harvard University) often go on at great length about the need to better secure minority rights.

"I live there as part of a minority and you see how concerned they are about these issues. Here, I have to exercise my duty as part of the majority and bring up my concerns. This is essential to the practice of democracy, which, like liberty, must be vigorously defended. Eternal vigilance is the price you pay for that liberty," he said.

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EDITORIAL: Mr. Narendra Modi, you have a choice

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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism
, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links