Don't agree with India's policy on Myanmar: Amartya Sen

     Sharing the dais with the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen, on Tuesday said that he did not agree with India's policy on Myanmar. Speaking at a symposium on the 'Centrality of Literacy' here, Sen said: "I don't agree with the Indian policy on Burma. Sen's comments come a week after the prime minister and Myanmar's military ruler General Than Shwe signed several bilateral pacts. On the issue of increasing Naxal violence, Sen said it is disrupting school education and was completely in contrast to the thinking and vision of Chinese Communist leader Mao-tze Dong. Demonstrating his cerebral prowess with mesmerising articulation, Sen said education is the cornerstone of development, without which progress in the social and economic realms was not possible. "In my view, the imposing tower of misery today that rests in the heart of India has its sole foundation in the absence of education. Caste division, religious conflicts, aversion to work, precarious economic condition all centre on this simple fact," he said. Reiterating his critically acclaimed and widely accepted theory of human capability expansion, Sen said the Right to Education is a welcome step that could greatly boost individual skills to generate numerous avenues of development. "It (Right to Education) offers a much awaited social recognition of the centrality of literacy as a basic human capability. There are many more actions to be taken and the challenges ahead of making India universally educated is still quite exacting, demanding organizational alterations, as well as financial commitment," he added. In his address, Dr. Singh said a lot more needed to be done by the government to achieve universal and quality education across the country. "Many affirmative actions for the welfare and empowerment of the marginalized sections of our country have got consolidated through the spread of the literacy movement," he added. He also assured that financial barriers would not bar the vision of providing free and compulsory education to every Indian child. "It is our government's commitment that paucity of funds will not be allowed to limit the spread of literacy and education in our country. It is on the foundation of this fiscal commitment and political resolve that we went to Parliament and added a new Fundamental Right to our Constitution - the Right to Education," he said.

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