Demonetisation despotic action, undermines trust: Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen
Amartya Sen

New Delhi: Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has called the Modi government's demonetisation move a “despotic action that has struck at the root of economy based on trust”.

“It (demonetisation) undermines notes, it undermines bank accounts, it undermines the entire economy of trust. That is the sense in which it is despotic,” Sen told NDTV.

He further said his immediate point of view on demonetisation is on its economic aspect. “It’s (demonetisation) a disaster on economy of trust. In the past 20 years, the country has been growing very fast. But it is all based on acceptance of each other’s word. By taking despotic action and saying we had promised but won’t fulfil our promise, you hit at the root of this,” Sen, also a Bharat Ratna awardee, said.

Noting that capitalism has many successes that have come from having trust in businesses, he said if a government promises in promissory note and breaks such a promise, then it is a despotic act.

“I am not a great admirer of capitalism. On the other hand, capitalism has many successes... It’s despotic in the sense that if a government promises in promissory note that when given, we will give you this amount of compensation for it, and to break such a promise is a despotic action," said Sen.

Parliament disrupted again
The Opposition yesterday said it was ready for a debate on demonetisation in the Lok Sabha under any rule that entailed voting, but the government refused to budge from its stand against division of votes as the impasse in the House continued, causing frequent adjournments. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan then called it a day.

The Opposition forced two adjournments in Rajya Sabha. Deputy chairman PJ Kurien adjourned the House for the day.

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