Bihar resurrection to help India grow, says Amartya Sen
PATNA: Highlighting the linkages between Bihar’s glorious past and reinvention of its present, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Monday said that there is a sense of achievement about what’s going on in Bihar. “It is still very early to assess the accomplishments of the state, but the fact that we can assess it is a feat in itself,” said Sen.
He said that references to history would come regularly when we talk of Bihar’s development. Citing examples of the rich cultural heritage of Nalanda, Vikramshila and Kusumpur, he stated that works of great mathematicians were centred in Bihar, including that of Aryabhatta.
Sen was releasing a book “Resurrection of the State: A Saga of Bihar”, essays in memory of Professor Papiya Ghosh (who was murdered a few years ago), a volume edited by Sunita Lall (a student of Ghosh) and Shaibal Gupta at the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI). “The first Indian state was born in Patliputra and Bihar’s resurrection is significant for the whole country,” he said.
Commenting on the title of the book, Sen said resurrection is a good word to use. “We should think of commitments and what the reinvention of Bihar implies for the democratic and secular state of India,” said Sen, who is also the chancellor of the Nalanda University, adding that revival of the varsity is one such step in the direction.
The book contains 13 essays that present an account of political process, state of economy, social agenda and issues of identity in Bihar, mostly during the first four years of chief minister Nitish Kumar’s tenure. It also has four accounts of personal reminisces of Papiya Ghosh.
Rajya Sabha member N K Singh, in his presidential address, said, “In the past five years, Bihar has been the fastest growing state, far ahead of its more privileged counterparts in the Western India. But we need to ensure that the benefits of growth can be shared in an equitable society.”
Co-editor of the volume, Lall, said it contained contributions from eminent scholars who believe in the development of Bihar. “It is a repayment of our debt that was due to Ghosh and the book embodies respect for her,” she said.
Also present on the occasion were Bihar education minister P K Shahi, State Assembly Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary and Lord Meghnad Desai, among others. A vote of thanks was proposed by Tuktuk Ghosh, sister of Papiya Ghosh.