Thursday, November 05, 2015

Fwd: Intolerance has always existed: Niti Aayog’s Bibek Debroy

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,TNN | Nov 5, 2015, 02.32 AM IST
Niti Aayog's member Bibek Debroy is a renowned economist who is known for speaking his mind. In an interview to TOI, Debroy reflects on the issue of intolerance and cites examples to show the need for multiple views.Excerpts:

Q: A debate has been raging on the issue of intolerance in the country. What has been your experience?

A: What is generally not known is that Jagdish Bhagwati was essentially made to leave Delhi School of Economics and had to go abroad because his life was made very uncomfortable. He left DSE because there is a certain prevailing climate of opinion and if you buck that, your life is made uncomfortable.

In the course of the second five-year plan, a committee of economists was set up to examine it. Dr B.R. Shenoy was the only one who opposed it. Do you find Dr Shenoy's name mentioned in the history of union policymaking? No. He was completely ostracized. He could not get a job in India and he ended up in Ceylon.

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The third is a book called 'Heart of India', written by Alexander Campbell who was a journalist. A patronizing book for that day and time but it is still banned in India because it says frivolous things about Jawaharlal Nehru, socialism in India, and the Planning Commission. People who say there should not be bans, why don't they ever mention 'Heart of India'.

I cited these three examples to drive home the point that intolerance has always existed and we will be stupid if we haven't recognized it.
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