Saturday, February 21, 2015
Amartya Sen and the Nalanda University.
Amartya Sen (81) has been an extraordinary thinker, brilliant writer - his book 'The Argumentative Indian' is one of my favourite -, an activist and a performer. Yet his tenure at the helm of Nalanda University as its Chancellor has very little to talk about, much less on creating a launchpad for the new university. He hardly visited the campus, I am told. May be he was busy with his duties at the Harvard and Cambridge Universities. But a new University like Nalanda, having an Asian base and thought of by visionary like APJ Abdul Kalam can ill afford with part time faculty and administrator. Now to talk of political interference, as Sen is doing, smacks of a politician than academician.
The Hindu reports Professor Sugata Bose as saying that it is a "sad day for the Nalanda Dream". Incidentally, the prestigious newspaper like The Hindu introduce Prof Bose as Harvard Historian and Member of Governing Council of Nalanda University but makes no mention that Bose is also a Member of Parliament from Trinomol Congress! It is sad that so many years wasted without ever being anywhere near the fulfilment of the dream.
Amartya Sen's work in the first tenure at Nalanda University must be the sole criteria to extend a second term than his past glory or achievement, the latter is undoubtedly stupendous though.