It ain’t over till the economist sings.
“At its crux is a massive Rs 2,727 crore financial package to the University over a period of 12 years. The finance ministry’s department of expenditure has asked the ministry of external affairs, the nodal agency for the project, the reasons why government rules should not apply to the project.”
The following day, the Nobel laureate responded in the columns of the paper.
“The Indian public is used to bad reporting in newspapers., but your report on Nalanda University goes beyond bad reporting to dishing out falsehoods. Without even talking to the person whose intentions are being reported (an odd violation of professional journalism by one of India’s leading papers), your reporter comments on my alleged intention—or threat—to resign, which is quite untrue….”
The reporter, Pranab Dhal Samanta, responded this:
“This news report was based on information which is a part of the government’s record, where Amartya Sen is recorded as having threatened to resign. This is available with the ministry of external affairs….”
There was a controversy over a report that you are resigning from the Nalanda board as its chancellor — something you have subsequently denied.
Amartya Sen: Not subsequently. I never threatened to resign. There’s a distinction between something which is called a “leak”, information which you are not meant to share.
And, there’s something called a “plant”, that’s a misinformation that is sent around.
In this case, it was a “plant”, not a “leak”. Somebody in the ministry of external affairs (MEA), a senior civil servant, who talked to some people completely made up the story.
Image: courtesy Nalanda University