Dr Prannoy Roy interviews Nobel-winning economist Professor Amartya Sen on his upcoming book 'Home in the World: A Memoir'. In the book, Professor Sen, a celebrated author, talks about the first 30 years of his life.
Here are the highlights of the interview:
#Watch | "One issue is how to stop discrimination against humans who happen to be citizens of a country. That can be done by discussion, by bringing it into a public sphere of discussion.": Professor Amartya Sen, Indian Economist and Nobel Laureate, on #racismpic.twitter.com/SJrQeONl59- NDTV (@ndtv) July 24, 2021
Prof. Amartya Sen: This was a German girl I met, along with her companions, in Rudesheim. I was taking the boat. I took heaps of journeys that I could. And this was going down the Rhein, at a student fair. There were students travelling with me that said, do you know about Rudesheim fair? So, I said no, so they said we are all getting off. So, I got off there. And then I went and joined in the pub. And there were some very active students there. Who began with elementary questions when they learnt that the parts of India that I come from, Bengal, old name is Bongo, they wanted to know whether it was anywhere near Congo?
Prof. Amartya Sen: Okay. Well, the bicycle first perhaps, because quite a lot of my work is empirical. And I had to gather data in many of the subjects I was working in. We didn't have already collected data. I had to get them very often for myself, whether I'm dealing with gender inequality, how girls and boys comparatively favour, comparatively perform as they are getting older from a very early age. And also going back to history, what happened during the famine, how much were the wages of people compared with prices, to make it impossible for them to buy food. So, I was collecting all these things, going to all storages and godowns, as they say in India, and pulling all the old records out. And I had to do it all on the bike, because the long distances were mostly not very well connected. The Aryabhatiya was a book of great interest to me. The author was Aryabhata, who was one of the great mathematicians in India.
#NDTVExclusive | "The Aryabhatiya was a book of great interest to me. Aryabhata is not uninfluenced by outsiders. I think what's happening in Greece and Babylon do have some impact in India.": Professor Amartya Sen (@AmartyaSen_Econ), Nobel Laureate, on Aryabhata pic.twitter.com/iz38vmXLUZ- NDTV (@ndtv) July 24, 2021
Prof. Amartya Sen: Oh, I certainly would say that, yes. At different levels, I taught both the elementary economics, a personal choice theory and social choice theory. And I think both in terms of the innovative work on social choice theory that people like Prasanta Pattanaik and others did, that was fantastic. But also, in the general class of elementary economics, there was a kind of level of interest, concern, engagement, that I found right across the big lecture hall which I found enormously energizing. And I think if I were to put them in next to Oxford or Cambridge or Harvard or MIT, I don't know where exactly there might be, in terms of exact performance and score, but in terms of being engaged in the subject matter, I got as much as I could expect.
#Watch | "I think one thing friendship does is to give a notion that when you encounter a person, your inclination is to treat that person as being on your side in some ways": Professor @AmartyaSen_Econ, Indian Economist and Nobel Laureate, on how he views friendship pic.twitter.com/JcCsJwJN2Z- NDTV (@ndtv) July 24, 2021
Prof. Amartya Sen: Yes, it did. Very much so. Friendship, closeness, learning from others, as well as relying on others, I think one thing friendship does is to give a notion that when you encounter a person, your inclination is to treat that person as being on your side in some ways. And you know, I sometimes am lucky, I think I discussed in one of the chapters, I think the chapter where I miss my plane, going to Warsaw. And I didn't have any money at all. And there I am, in the East Berlin station, and not knowing exactly what to do. And there emerges a friend, he happened to be a student, studying electrical engineering in Berlin. And he becomes a supporter, a friend and company.