Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Dilip Ghosh, who drew all-round flak for making a personal attack on Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, on Sunday claimed he had just questioned the stand of Bengal’s intellectuals.
“I stand by what I have said. At a time when Bengal is burning, every day teachers are being beaten up, students clash inside campuses, Bengal’s most celebrated intellectuals remain silent. I said intellectuals are looking for rewards and therefore remain silent,” Ghosh said.
Ghosh on Saturday had questioned the renowned economist’s contribution to the nation.
“I have not only talked about Amartya Sen but also others. I have named Subodh Sarkar (Bengali poet) too. I never targeted an individual, but the intellectuals of Bengal,” he said.
Addressing a gathering in Kolkata, Ghosh on Saturday said, “A fellow Bengali among us has won the Nobel Prize and we are proud...But, what has he done for the state? What has he given to the nation? No one in Bengal understands him...Such people are spineless and they can be purchased or sold, and can stoop to any level,” he said.
Sen, however, remained unperturbed over the controversy. “He has said what he felt was right. He has the right to express himself. I have no reason to object. If he thinks this requires discussion, he is free to do that,” Sen told a local news channel. Soon after Ghosh’s comments were aired, civil society condemned him.