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India at Crossroads | World Leaders Forum - Columbia University | April 2, 2019

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Akeel Bigrami: The World Leaders Forum Akeel Bigrami: was created by Lee Ballinger Akeel Bigrami: to bring to our university Akeel Bigrami: women and men, Akeel Bigrami: not just with political authority, Akeel Bigrami: but also intellectual authority, Akeel Bigrami: to present their thoughts to us Akeel Bigrami: without fear Akeel Bigrami: of anything except Akeel Bigrami: public engagement and discussion. Akeel Bigrami: It is in that spirit Akeel Bigrami: that Amartya Sen and Prabhat Patnaik Akeel Bigrami: have been invited Akeel Bigrami: to speak today at this event Akeel Bigrami: for which we've all been keenly waiting. Akeel Bigrami: The theme today is Akeel Bigrami: "India at Crossroads" Akeel Bigrami: -an apt topic, Akeel Bigrami: since one meaning of crossroads is, Akeel Bigrami: in my dictionary, Akeel Bigrami: a crucial point, Akeel Bigrami: especially when a decision is to be made Akeel Bigrami: And as we know, Akeel Bigrami: the General Elections in India Akeel Bigrami: will be underway this month Akeel Bigrami: -an election that will decide Akeel Bigrami: whether India will continue Akeel Bigrami: even more steeply down the path Akeel Bigrami: of right-wing religious nationalism Akeel Bigrami: or return to some of its past ideals Akeel Bigrami: of secularism and economic policies Akeel Bigrami: intended to uplift the lives Akeel Bigrami: of poor and working people. Akeel Bigrami: But, of course, Akeel Bigrami: a proper concern for the decisions Akeel Bigrami: we are about to make for the future Akeel Bigrami: depends, widely, Akeel Bigrami: on how we understand our past Akeel Bigrami: and our present. Akeel Bigrami: And so, it's really to provide Akeel Bigrami: that analysis in depth, Akeel Bigrami: that we've brought our two guests here. Akeel Bigrami: I'm going to introduce our speakers Akeel Bigrami: with much more brevity than they deserve and command. Akeel Bigrami: This gives them as much time to speak themselves. Akeel Bigrami: We really want to hear from them, Akeel Bigrami: not about them. Akeel Bigrami: They are both figures of international renown Akeel Bigrami: with a brace of awards and prizes Akeel Bigrami: and honorary degrees between them. Akeel Bigrami: Amartya Sen is the Lamont professor Akeel Bigrami: at Harvard where he teaches both Akeel Bigrami: economics and philosophy. Akeel Bigrami: He is a Nobel laureate in economics, Akeel Bigrami: has been the Master of Trinity College in Cambridge, Akeel Bigrami: as well as the Drummond Professor Akeel Bigrami: of Political Economy at Oxford. Akeel Bigrami: Before that, he taught at Akeel Bigrami: Jadavpur University, Akeel Bigrami: University of Calcutta, Akeel Bigrami: and the Delhi School of Economics. Akeel Bigrami: His books include Akeel Bigrami: Collective Choice and Social Welfare, Akeel Bigrami: Poverty and Famines, Akeel Bigrami: Development as Freedom, Akeel Bigrami: and, most recently, The Idea of Justice. Akeel Bigrami: Prabhat Patnaik, Akeel Bigrami: who went to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, Akeel Bigrami: taught economics at Cambridge University Akeel Bigrami: for some years before responding to a call Akeel Bigrami: to join and help set up Akeel Bigrami: the Center for Economic Studies Akeel Bigrami: at the newly-formed Akeel Bigrami: Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, Akeel Bigrami: nobly forsaking Akeel Bigrami: a most promising international Akeel Bigrami: academic career to serve his own country, Akeel Bigrami: where he has taught ever since Akeel Bigrami: until retiring last year. Akeel Bigrami: His books include Akeel Bigrami: Accumulation and Stability under Capitalism, Akeel Bigrami: The Value of Money, Akeel Bigrami: Retreat to Unfreedom Akeel Bigrami: and most recently, Akeel Bigrami: An Economic Theory of Imperialism. Akeel Bigrami: They are both here Akeel Bigrami: because they are, Akeel Bigrami: as this event's nomenclature has it, Akeel Bigrami: world leaders of human thought Akeel Bigrami: about public life. Akeel Bigrami: By which I mean that, Akeel Bigrami: what makes them stand out Akeel Bigrami: apart from the measurable Akeel Bigrami: productions and achievements that I have just mentioned, Akeel Bigrami: is that they believe something that most leaders Akeel Bigrami: increasingly have ceased to believe: Akeel Bigrami: that ideas make a difference Akeel Bigrami: to politics and public life, Akeel Bigrami: that it makes all the difference to politics and public life, Akeel Bigrami: whether you put truth in the first place Akeel Bigrami: or the second. Akeel Bigrami: I will hand over things now to Ruchira Gupta Akeel Bigrami: who has very kindly agreed to moderate and chair Akeel Bigrami: the proceedings this evening. Akeel Bigrami: Miss Gupta is a very important public figure herself, Akeel Bigrami: a journalist and activist Akeel Bigrami: of deep and consistent commitments Akeel Bigrami: to women's issues. Akeel Bigrami: She has worked over the years with the United Nations, Akeel Bigrami: the BBC and the wide range of international newspapers Akeel Bigrami: before she became the founder and chair Akeel Bigrami: of the remarkable NGO called up Apne Aap, Akeel Bigrami: whose work has been recognized with honors both Akeel Bigrami: by the House of Lords in Britain and Akeel Bigrami: the Clinton Foundation in this country. Akeel Bigrami: Her scholarly writing is focused Akeel Bigrami: mostly on human trafficking Akeel Bigrami: and the legal and moral resources Akeel Bigrami: with which it must be confronted. Akeel Bigrami: Columbia is very privileged Akeel Bigrami: to have the speakers tonight and Akeel Bigrami: I ask you to join me in welcoming them. [applause] Ruchira Gupta: Good evening everyone. Ruchira Gupta: I'm very honored to be chairing this discussion today Ruchira Gupta: at a very critical time in India. Ruchira Gupta: India is going to polls on the 11th of April Ruchira Gupta: and the election results will be declared on 23rd of May. Ruchira Gupta: In an extraordinary exercise of world momentum, there are more than 450 parties Ruchira Gupta: which will be fighting elections this time Ruchira Gupta: and more than 500 million people Ruchira Gupta: who will cast their votes. Ruchira Gupta: The unfortunate part of this great exercise Ruchira Gupta: is that we have found that 21 million women Ruchira Gupta: are missing from the electoral rolls this time Ruchira Gupta: and more than 12% Muslims and Dalits. Ruchira Gupta: These are challenges that the Election Commission

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Duration: 1 hour, 40 minutes and 23 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: develop_apneaap on Apr 12, 2019

This World Leaders program features an address by two of India’s most eminent economists and public intellectuals, Amartya Sen and Prabhat Patnaik, with a moderated discussion by Ruchira Gupta, CEO and Founder of the anti-trafficking organization Apne Aap Women Worldwide. Professors Sen and Patnaik will discuss contemporary issues central to India’s political crossroads and seek to explore the moral, political, economic, and philosophical perspectives relating to India’s current political climate and upcoming election, and the global rise of populist nationalism. The audience will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session following the panel discussion.

Participants:
Amartya Sen, Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University

Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Moderated by:
Ruchira Gupta, CEO and Founder of the anti-trafficking organization Apne Aap Women Worldwide and Visiting Professor at New York University

Co-sponsored by:
South Asia Institute, Committee on Global Thought, and Heyman Center for the Humanities

Transcript: To be uploaded soon.

Event Link: https://worldleaders.columbia.edu/events/india-crossroads

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