Professor Amartya Sen on Thursday said that the BJP government is using the Ram Mandir issue to distract attention from serious issues like unemployment and economic policies. ” This systematic cultivation of divisions along with the growing intolerance and undermining of institutions is worrying” he said to News18.
He criticised the government’s move to grant citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from neighboring countries through the Citizenship Bill, 2016, while leaving out Muslims. He said the government was aware of the “huge amount of intolerance and ill-treatment” of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
“I think the elections are going to be an important feature of India because in the 2014 election, BJP got a majority with only 31% of the votes. The vote percentage haven’t gone up, it’s likely to have gone down. So I think if it’s well organised, the number of seats that the BJP gets should be far less than what it did in the parliamentary elections in 2014.” said the famous economist.
Sen said the threats received by actor Naseeruddin Shah and politics over cattle slaughter were examples of attempts being made to “excite” the public. “I think what we see is an organised attempt at making the country smaller, meaner, nastier and more divided,” he added. On the topic of the coming election. he said ” We have to remind the opposition that the job is not only to defeat the BJP, not only to end the communalism that the present government has cultivated, but also to do many positive things which historically India has failed to do. And therefore, it’s a bigger task than just defeating the BJP.