Amartya Sen flays failure to address social ills

August 11th, 2008 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Nobel laureate Amartya Sen Monday implicitly criticised the Left and the country’s trade unions for failing to adequately address social injustices such as severe deprivation, child hunger, lack of educational opportunities and healthcare for the poor. Delivering the inaugural Prof Hiren Mukherjee Memorial Parliamentary Lecture in the central hall of Parliament, Sen said: “There is a lot of immediate agitation to express discontent on new issues such as price rise or the agreement with a foreign country on nuclear issues, but there is little political murmur about the actual living conditions of Indians.”

Addressing both houses of parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh began the proceedings by praising the political ethics and principles of the late Hiren Mukherjee, a former parliamentarian and a Communist.

“Although a severe critic of bourgeois democracy, Prof Mukherjee still upheld the highest traditions of parliamentary democracy during his presence in parliament,” Singh said.

Vice President Hamid Ansari thanked Speaker Somnath Chatterjee for inviting the Noble laureate to deliver the inaugural Prof Hiren Mukherjee lecture.

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