Prisoner of Conscience

February 20 2017

In a not so rare incident nowadays, the voice of a genuine economist has been put in the freezer by a major media house.
It is learnt that Nobel laureate economist Dr Amartya Sen is seriously unwell these days and has come to reside and recuperate at his daughter’s home in Kolkata. Hearing this, a senior Bengali scribe from that large media house flew out to Kolkata, and using her Bong connections, tied up with Dr Sen for an interview. Sources reveal that despite his severe health problems, Dr Sen granted more than one-and-half hours to the scribe and spoke his mind on a range of subjects, from demonetisation to the economic policies of the Modi Sarkar.
Dr Sen apparently said that in countries where socio-economic disparities peak, a frustrated populace tends to elect an ultra-rightist government, which is the case in India with the Modi government and Donald Trump’s triumph in the US.
Dr Sen may have also indicated to the lady reporter that this could be his last interview to any print media. Buoyed by such a hard-hitting free speech from such an eminent personality, the reporter flew back to the Capital and filed her report post-haste. But surprise, surprise!The next day the interview did not appear. She waited for a couple of days, and finally walked up to her editor and asked why, especially because Dr Sen and his daughter had by then made a couple of calls embarrassing to the scribe, wanting to know when the interview will appear. She was told point blank that it will not appear because it is like a Bofors shelling against the country’s top leadership. Hence, the management will not allow this to be printed. However, she was reassured that her flight and other expenses would surely be reimbursed. Dr Sen and the scribe thus remain prisoners of conscience!

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