Around 50 students on Wednesday met Nobel laureate Amartya Sen to express their solidarity with the economist who was being harassed by the Visva-Bharati authorities over a tiny parcel of land at Pratichi, his ancestral house on the campus of the central university.
Sen spent around an hour with the students and spoke on different issues, including the present situation at Visva-Bharati and compared it with the time when he was a student. Sen asked the students about their opinions on the goings on in Santiniketan.
After a student said they had come to meet him to express their support and solidarity as the Visva-Bharati authorities were humiliating him, Sen said it was not easy to humiliate him. “I thank you for what you said. But it is not easy to humiliate me. I have to listen to what people say but it is depending upon me whether I would take those as my humiliation,” Sen said before elaborating on his connection for years as a person of Santiniketan as well as an alumnus of the varsity.
The students told him about the punishments which had been meted out to many of their peers by the varsity for taking part in different protests. A student said many of the students did not come to meet Sen as they feared varsity authorities would act against them.
“We had a plan to bring over 150 students who primarily agreed to come. However, many of them informed us that they would not be able to come because of the fear of punitive action by varsity authorities. We also heard that several teachers unofficially campaigned that the administration might take action if they went to meet Sen,” said Minakshi Bhattacharya, a varsity student and Trinamul Chhatra Parishad leader.