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Amartya wish

Jaipur, Jan. 17: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen today said the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party showcased the “opportunities” India’s democracy has to offer.

“I wish we in India will recognise our strength because of the nature of the country as well as the opportunities given by India’s democracy, which has been skilfully used recently by Aam Aadmi Party (even though they have a lot to learn about on what their programmes should really be),” he said, in his address to the Jaipur Literature Festival that opened today.

“We have a lot of corruption,” Sen continued, “but it has become a major electoral issue, which, in a democracy, is the best way for a long run solution, which will require many administrative reforms.”

The economist, who has said in the past that he does not want Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, said his “big political wish is to have a strong and flourishing right-wing party that is secular and not communal”.

“There is an important role for a clear-headed pro-market, pro-business party that does not depend on religious politics, and does not prioritise one religious community over all others,” he added. Sen also took a dig at Left, saying: “Now that the Soviet Union is gone, the Chinese are beating the Americans in the market economy, the Latin Americans and the Vietnamese are racing ahead with their own economic and social progress, surely the Indian Left is the only remaining political group in the world on whom the mantle of fighting American imperialism has fallen….”

The literature festival will be held over five days from January 17 to 21.