Nobel laureate Amartya Sen write to Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today, thanking her for support in the controversy over his ancestral property in Santiniketan. The Visva Bharati University has reportedly written to the Ministry of Education, listing encroachers on campus land and Professor Sen’s name was on it. The 87-year-old laureate has completely dismissed the reports, saying he had read about the controversy in the media and no one from the University had got in touch with him.
Professor Sen has a family home in Santiniketan, “Pratichi”, was built by his maternal grandfather Kshitimohan Sen, a scholar and an associate of Rabindranath Tagore, who established the university a hundred years ago.
“I am not only most touched, but also very reassured that despite the busy life you have to lead, you can find time for reassuring people under attack. Your strong voice, along with your full understanding of what is going on, is, for me, a tremendous source of strength,” Professor Sen wrote to Ms Banerjee today.
On Friday, the Chief Minister wrote to Amartya Sen, expressing support. Expressing “surprise and anguish”, she spoke og his deep links with Santiniketan and “nouveau invaders” raising baseless allegations.
“Some nouveau invaders in Visva Bharati have started raising surprising and baseless allegations about your familial properties…This pains me, and I want to express my solidarity with you in your battles against bigotry of majoritarians in this country, the battles that have made you an enemy of these forces of untruth,” she wrote.