Monday, May 24, 2010

Amartya Sen on India - Open Source

We have encountered Amartya Sen on several podcasts. He spoke on Justice at the LSE at Cornell on Capitalism and Confusion (UChannel), there was a more free conversation with Amartya Sen at the LSE again and he even made a short appearance on A History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC), when they discussed the Pillar of Ashoka.

At Radio Open Source the host Christopher Lydon interviewed Amartya Sen on India in general. (feed) It is very interesting to listen to this interview in conjunction with two other podcasts that relate to the current state of affairs in India. Pranab Bardhan on LSE and Palagummi Sainath at Big Ideas. All three Indians, each with their own professional perspective, make an analysis of where India stands today. All three mark the widely noticed economic rise of India and all three make critical comments.

Amartya Sen comes with a very personal view of India and its history. One of the distinctive elements, in his view, is the variety and tolerance of variety in India. What this also means is what Sainath called the great Inequality: the huge differences in literacy and wealth. It also means that India shows a large variety of religions, including fundamentalist streams. A variety towards science and technology is quite surprisingly illustrated with Gandhi; Sen discloses the Mahatma's opposition even to railways. Just as Sainath, Sen is worried about the inequality and he catches it in the phrase, India is becoming part California, part sub-Saharan Africa. There is more - one should listen.

More Open Source:
Mustafa Barghouti,
Jackson Lears,
Two communities in one region,
We want Obama,
The end of Hegemony.
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