Sheer information or official declaration may testify that Abhijit Banerjee(along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer) have won the Nobel Prize for Economics just like Amartya Sen was honoured with same in similar field; but the underlying fact remains that the Nobel Committee have actually honoured the embedded humanity within the trio and Sen. After all the economics pursued by them are not related to stock market inclined pro-rich growth story with a clever lustful eye on graph of Sensex; rather their economics is full-fledged humanitarian one with sole focus on exploring strategies to alleviate poverty, improving children’s education and expand access to health care. Since education and health form the two most important pillars upon which a society thrives and prospers, indifference to these two can never eradicate the curse of poverty from the society. After all the fight against poverty can only be initiated through an able healthy nutritious body enriched with basic academic/vocational education and skills. Also quality education and health can be ensured in this commercialised society only when people are uplifted from the fangs of poverty. So it is seen that poverty education and health are intertwined with each other and all these three subjects need to be pursued at one go just like Banerjee-Duflo-Kremer trio and previously Sen.
The highest international honour bestowed to the pursuers of welfare pro-people economics deliver a strong message to many Governments of the world(specially of third world countries) who accord maximum mileage to arms race, nuclear one-upmanship, space missions, Sensex and engage in play to the gallery by immersing in gigantic statues, lofty flags and luxurious trains and amenities for the privileged minority instead of urgently addressing the plight of the huge mass of population gasping in the hell named poverty hunger malnutrition disease and illiteracy.
So by taking cue from the humanitarian light projected and transmitted by these responsible economists, India and the developing nations should learn to accord utmost priority towards alleviating poverty and ensuring education and health to the deprived by investing maximum resource energy and time. Nothing is more crucial than human capital, proper nurturing and utilisation of it will automatically ensure the achievement of all other goals of the nation. Not to forget another Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s yeoman’s service also towards crucial human capital in the form of releasing vulnerable children from the vicious cycle of child labour and thereafter educating them.
However Banerjee hasn’t confined himself in his related field only. Again just like Amartya Sen, he has also displayed his social commitment by protesting against mishandling of the Kanhaiya Kumars in Jawaharlal Nehru University on charges of “sedition” just for their “sin” of exercising their Constitutional right of free speech in a democracy! The social responsibility of Sens and Banerjees exemplify that freedom of expression, avenues of protest, independence of mind also form necessary ingredients in making up a sane robust ideal society along with food education and health.
Indeed welfare economics and peace need to coexist simultaneously and India should necessarily follow the foot steps of their three illustrious children in this sphere — Amartya Sen, Kailash Satyarthi, Abhijit Banerjee — if the country indeed desires to attain highest tier of real development.
Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata