No question of taking back 'Bharat Ratna' from Amartya Sen: Tharoor

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 25, 2013 08:09 hrs

New Delhi: Minister of State for Human Resource and Development (HRD) Shashi Tharoor on Thursday avoided commenting on Bharatiya Janata Party's Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra's criticism of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, saying there is no question of taking back the 'Bharat Ratna' from the renowned economist.

"There is no question of taking back the Bharat Ratna from him," he said, while refusing to further comment on the matter.

Mitra had earlier in a television interview suggested that Amartya Sen be stripped off the Bharat Ratna.

"Amartya Sen says he doesn't want Modi to be India's PM. Is Sen even a voter in India? Next NDA government must strip him of Bharat Ratna," he said during an interview to CNN-IBN.

Sen had earlier this week told a television channel during an interview that Narendra Modi could have done more for Gujarat's education, health and for secularism, instead of focusing solely on physical infrastructure development in that state.

Referring to Modi, Sen said "I think I would like a more secular person to be Prime Minister. I would not like a Prime Minister who generates concern and fear among minorities. That is the primary reason. I am in favour of someone who looks at social administration and not just business administration seriously. That doesn't mean that I don't see what he has done and why people admire him."

Sen went a step further in saying that as an economist he didn't approve of the 'Modi model' of governance saying, "I don't think the record is very good. I don't have to be a member of the minority in order to feel insecure. I could be a member of the majority."

"We Indians don't want a situation where the minority feel insecure and could legitimately think that there was an organised violence against them in 2002. I think that is a terrible record and I don't think Indian Prime Minister as an Indian citizen ... Of who has that kind of record. No, I do not," he said.

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