Nobel laureate Professor Amartya Sen has said that the caste system in India is ‘anti-national’ because it divides India.
“We want to be national, not anti-national, for which it is important to eliminate all divisions,” the 82-year-old economist and philosopher said.
Addressing a special event at the London School of Economics (LSE) to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Dalit rights activist Babsaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Sen criticised the practice in India of branding people who don’t “toe a certain line” as anti-national.
He called Ambedkar a “great social revolutionary and an intellectual powerhouse.” Ambedkar was a former LSE student.
The conference titled ‘Dr Ambedkar’s Relevance Today and in the Future’ was organised by the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations UK (FABO UK) in collaboration with the Inequality and Poverty Research Programme, Department of Anthropology at the LSE and the India Observatory at the LSE.
Ambedkar, referred to as the architect of the Indian Constitution, registered for a Master’s degree and took courses in Geography and Political Ideas alongside Social Evolution and Social Theory and went on to complete a PhD thesis at LSE.
The year 2016 marks the centenary of his first visit to LSE in 1916.