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UP Elections 2017: PM Modi directs barb at Amartya Sen for slamming demonetisation, says ‘hard work matters, not Harvard’

“The country has seen difference between Harvard and hard-work after November 8,” the PM said.

UP Elections 2017: PM Modi directs barb at Amartya Sen for slamming demonetisation, says ‘hard work matters, not Harvard’
"The country has seen difference between Harvard and hard-work after November 8," the PM said. (ANI image)

Launching a scathing attack on economists for criticizing his demonetisation move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said, ‘hard work matters not Harvard’. Addressing a campaign rally for Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 in Maharajganj, PM Modi taunted the economic pundits associated with Harvard University. “The country has seen difference between Harvard and hard-work after November 8,” the PM said. The remark can be seen as a veiled attack on Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen who is a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University.

Sen had called Modi government’s demonetisation move “despotic action that has struck at the root of economy based on trust”. “It (demonetisation) undermines notes, it undermines bank accounts, it undermines the entire economy of trust. That is the sense in which it is despotic,” Sen told NDTV. He further said his immediate point of view on demonetisation is on its economic aspect. “Its (demonetisation) a disaster on economy of trust. In the last 20 years, the country has been growing very fast. But it is all based on acceptance of each others word. By taking despotic action and saying we had promised but won’t fulfill our promise, you hit at the root of this,” Sen, also a Bharat Ratna awardee, said.

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Noting that capitalism has many successes that have come from having trust in businesses, he said if a government promises in a promissory note and breaks such promise, then it is a despotic act. “I am not a great admirer of capitalism. On the other hand, capitalism has many successes… Its despotic in the sense that if a government promises in promissory note that when given, we will give you this amount of compensation for it and to break such a promise is a despotic action,” Sen, who is currently Thomas W Lamont University Professor at Harvard University, said. The demonetisation issue has also rocked Parliament as both Houses have been witnessing disruptions and adjournments due to noisy protests by Opposition parties for the past several days.

The high-octane campaigning for the Phase 6 of Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 has begun. The polling for the sixth phase of the elections will take place on March 4. 49 assembly constituencies spanning across 7 districts will go to polls. Meanwhile, an estimated 57.36 per cent of 1.81 crore electorate had cast their votes amid tight security during the fifth phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh with Amethi and Faizabad assembly seats remaining the centre of attention.

(With agency inputs)

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