Banerjee not only shared the prize with his economist wife Esther Duflo, the only second female to win it in the field and economist Michael Kremer but received prime minister Modi’s congratulations on twitter four hours too late.
It was announced yesterday that the Nobel Prize in Economics for 2019 has been awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for “their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”.
Abhijit, who was pleasantly surprised by his win and went on to sleep for a half hour after hearing the news, is everything the BJP stands against. First of all, Ahijit is a product of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) an organization that has been at loggerheads with PM Modi’s Hindu Nationalist BJP.
This association now makes Abhijit the most elite candidate for the ‘anti-national’ tag that has been freely doled out by the party’s jingoistic supporters.
He had also openly criticized the government’s decision of demonetization. In an interview, he’d said that the move was being viewed with ‘bewilderment’ in academic circles.
A alumni of the so called ‘tukde-tukde gang’, the acclaimed economist was one of the 108 social scientists and economists who had signed a letter to the government calling it out for hampering with the GDP statistics and showcasing inflated growth. The letter met with a lot of flak, not just by the government but also a few chartered accountants who claimed it to be ‘motivated’ and ‘devious’.
Not just this, in a supposedly ‘anti-national’ activity as some would say, he had also helped the Indian National Congress (INC) devise the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme. NYAY was a minimum income guarantee scheme that was the flagship social welfare programme of the party. The BJP then took potshots at the cou-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab that works toward methods of alleviating global poverty.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted in congratulations, but not without taking a jibe at the BJP.
Being a JNU student, Banerjee has seen his days of unrest. He was thrown into Tihar Jail for ten days, protesting against the then Congress government in the 1980s to reduce government interference in the educational campuses.
Even last week, he fearlessly spoke about the failing health of the Indian economy. While the BJP government keeps singing All Izz Well to the public regarding all problems faced by it and sweeping the economic crisis under the carpet, Banerjee put together some prescriptions to resuscitate the economy. The least he said we could do, was PRAY.
This surely must’ve come as a hit right in the Centre’s jaw.
There have been some who have been calling his win not the ‘right’ decision.
Though PM Modi extended his congratulations to the trio for their work in poverty alleviation, Twitter users pointed it out to be a very half-hearted greeting.