Nobel laureate Amartya Sen was honoured with the Muzaffar Ahmed memorial award for his book Home in the World: A Memoir in Calcutta on Friday.
The award was instituted in memory CPM ideologue Muzaffar Ahmed, whose birth anniversary was observed on Friday.
“I feel very happy that my book has been associated with Muzaffar Ahmed’s memory. This is because apart from having immense respect for this pioneer of communism in India, I had a familiar relationship with him,” Sen wrote in a short message sent to the Muzaffar Ahmed Memorial Award Committee, which is run by the CPM.
Mridul Dey, CPM leader and the president of the committee, said Sen’s book had been awarded for its versatility.
“It gives us a fantastic glimpse of his life’s journey and also his take on the present crisis in India which is riddled with growing communalism. He also speaks extensively about the Rohingya crisis.”
It is customary for the committee to recognise literary achievements every year on the birth anniversary of Ahmed. However, Sen’s book received an award specially curated for it.
Sen, who lives abroad and is unwell, was unable to attend the event. Dr Manabi Majumdar, the director of the Pratichi Trust, which is an organisation founded by the veteran economist received the award on behalf of Sen.
In his message, Sen described how one of his cousins had befriended Ahmed in a Dhaka jail, where they both had been imprisoned during their struggle for India’s freedom.
The committee also honoured Koushik Chatterjee’s Ekush Shatak e Marxiyo Samajtatya, Sampa Sen’s Bong Theatre: Manifesto Theke Bazar and Nehal Ahmad’s Nothing will be Forgotten: Jamia to Shaheen Bagh.
According to Dey, the procedure of communicating with Sen about the award had started more than a month ago.
Friday’s event was organised at Mahajati Sadan in Calcutta to commemorate the 134th birth anniversary of Ahmed. The event was attended by CPM state secretary Md Salim, Left Front chairman Biman Bose and CPM veterans Surjya Kanta Mishra and Ramchandra Dome.
Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had presided over this committee for a long time.