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The Criticality of the Right to Dissent
26.02.16 - Amartya Sen

Text of the annual Rajendra Mathur Memorial Lecture organised by the Editors Guild of India in Delhi on February 12, 2016.

I begin on a self-indulgent note. "How is Amartya?” asked my uncle Shidhu (Jyotirmoy Sengupta) — cousin of my father — in a letter written from Burdwan Jail, on August 22 of 1934, before I was one. He complained about the name "Amartya”, given to me by Rabindranath Tagore, and argued that the great Tagore had "completely lost his mind in his old age” to choose such a "tooth-breaking name” for a tiny child. Jyotirmoy was in jail for his efforts to end the British Raj. He was moved from prison to prison — Dhaka Jail, Alipur Central Jail, Burdwan Jail, Midnapur Central Jail. There were other uncles and cousins of mine who were going through similar experiences in other British Indian prisons.

Jyotirmoy himself came to a sad end, dying ...
  



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