Mr. Choudhury’s article criticizing Amartya Sen does no favor to the thinking minds.
In an article published on IndiaOpines, Mr. Avinandan Choudhury took up the task of launching a specious diatribe against the people who criticize the man who himself has mastered the art of making surreptitiously sinister remarks to climb his way up to the post of Prime Minister.
In his article, Mr. Choudhury’s criticisms are such, that a novice might confuse Narendra Modi to be an infallible deity who can do nothing wrong and whose tiniest and most sensible criticisms need to be countered with articles which sound such that one can swap the word ‘criticism’ with ‘hate’, and the meanings wouldn’t change. The most awful of these criticisms, is his whimperings against Amartya Sen.
The piece starts with the author calling the Nobel Laureate’s remarks about Modi not having enough secular credentials as ‘unfortunate’ and his criticisms based on Muslim bias as ‘divisive’. Sen, says Choudhury, shouldn’t pit one community against the other. Saying that Modi didn’t do enough for Muslims becomes ‘unfortunate’, observing the Muslim insecurity turns out to be an ‘irresponsible statement’.
Alluding to Modi’s incompetence during the Gujarat pogroms is countered once again with the banal argument about the Supreme Court vindication. And the most ludicrous of all, all this reprehension by Sen is concluded as ‘playing the Muslim card’. As the reader can observe, Mr. Choudhury not only closes every door of credible and sensible criticism with the typical use of the nasty insinuations like ‘pseudo-secular’, but he refuses to turn to the facts, which unabashedly back Sen’s arguments.
Modi, during his tenure in Gujarat, himself had made remarks which would easily qualify as polarizing, if not decisive. From his verbal attacks on then Election Commission chief, J.M. Lyngdoh, referring to him in his speeches as ‘James Michael Lyngdoh’ at every instance, to his famous ‘Ame paanch, Amara pachhees’.
If any common man was to encounter such communal shades in Modi’s speech, they would no doubt strike him or her as divisive, not to mention many other occasions when he has done the same. Thus, accusing Amartya Sen–a man who himself has written some imperishable essays of Indian secularism– of divisive politics while turning one’s back towards Modi’s suspicious jabs, leads to such frivolous jargon present in heaps in just one paragraph by Mr.Choudhury, where he has got every statement wrong, at one level or another.
Mr. Choudhury’s also entangles himself in his own opinion when he calls Sen’s remarks as divisive and then himself goes on to define ‘divisive’ as: ‘Both pro-Hindu and pro-Muslim stances’. There is not a slightest degree of bent towards pro-Muslims, forget pro-Hindu, in Sen’s remarks. It is part and parcel of human nature to feel insecure under a leader, under whose rule, thousands of compatriots of the same faith were ruthlessly slaughtered. The Nobel Laureate simply brings such insecurity to the table, which does not in any way has pro-Muslim implications.
Another instance of hindering criticism is evident when Mr. Choudhury writes:
“He indirectly blames Modi for the Gujarat riots, a charge Modi later would be exonerated of by the supreme court of India.”
The author’s tone in the above sentence again points towards an obsessive fascination with the supposed infallibility, this time of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. If Mr. Choudhury is so convinced that the SIT report’s vindication is unquestionable and absolute, he should pick up Manoj Mitta’s The Fact of Fiction: Modi and Godhra or those countless other reports by National Human Rights Commission or other International Human Rights groups about the 2002 Gujarat pogroms, so he may see the other side of the arguments, of which he seems so fantastically unaware of.
But this is not where he stops, the verbiage is extended when he writes:
“Such irresponsible comments weren’t expected from him. Comments like this just reinforce the idea that Nobel Prize has really become cheap and has become a tool for western patronization. Economist living in western developed countries can lecture about the poor, malnourished and minorities from air-conditioned rooms and in the process get adorned with a Nobel Prize.”
Needless to point out, the grave logical fallacy of ad hominem which shamelessly drips from such a lumpish argument, where Mr. Choudhury renders Sen’s arguments useless on the basis of him living in a western country, which follows the usual intellectual sluggishness and ignorance, which one demonstrates while completely ignoring information about Sen, that he has been counted among the top 10 public Intellectuals repeatedly by many organizations and magazines, and who won the Nobel Prize ( another detestable adornment, says the author) for forming a revolutionizing theory aimed for the upliftment of the maimed and crippled ones during the Bengal famines.
In conclusion, if the slightest, obvious and the most allusive criticism of Modi is given such a nonsensical treatment, where every plausible critic is judged by his character and not his arguments, and his/her criticism impeded under the weight of unintelligible and meaningless piffle, demonstrated at its best potential in Mr. Choudhary’s piece, then a neutral reader is bound to be dropped into those categories of right-wing-left-wing zealots, for whom any form of credible criticism is seen as hate statements and thus is entrapped in triangulation, and not bipartisanship.
By: Ayush Tiwari
Image Source: IANS, 1
This Article is in Response to Anti Modi Crusaders : Have They Left For Pakistan?