As regards the prize for economics, the less said about it the better

"Sorry, my Indian brothers and sisters, I can't join your charade", writes Mr. Katju
"Sorry, my Indian brothers and sisters, I can't join your charade", writes Mr. Katju

Indians are gloating over the award of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Abhijit Banerji. So forgive me my countrymen for pouring some cold water over your heads. Nobel Prizes are given every year in 6 subjects, physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics, and peace. The first prizes were awarded in 1901. The prizes in the first 3 subjects, i.e. physics, chemistry, and medicine are genuine and given to deserving persons. But those given in the other 3 subjects are often highly controversial and given to undeserving persons. For instance, peace prizes have often been given to warmongers like Henry Kissinger who advised the bombing of Vietnam and Cambodia, which killed tens of thousands of people.
Of the 118 Nobel Prizes for Literature granted so far, no one would even remember the names of over 90 of the awardees as they were undeserving writers. Tagore, that British agent (Read my blogs on him on my blog Satyam Bruyat), who diverted literature from the realist and revolutionary direction Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyaya was taking it, to mysticism and spiritualism (which is nonsense in a poor country like India) was awarded the prize, while Sarat Chandra, the greatest prose writer India has produced, and great poets like Faiz and Kazi Nazrul Islam, who deserved it, were not.

Also Watch: Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee on India’s current economy

As regards the prize for economics, the less said about it the better. Economics was a genuine science when Adam Smith and Ricardo wrote on the subject, but later its writers were only prizefighters paid to defend the capitalist system. The Great Depression which broke out with the Wall Street Slump in 1929 showed that the capitalist system was no longer functioning as a self-regulating mechanism (the ‘invisible hand’ of Adam Smith) but was leading to increasingly destructive results. Keynesian economics was the substitute, but has it abolished recessions, poverty, and unemployment in the world?
Amartya Sen and Abhijit Banerji have been awarded Nobel Prizes for their work on poverty alleviation, but how much poverty have their theories alleviated? Have they any solution to the record unemployment, skyrocketing vegetable prices, and farmers’ distress in India today? They have none!
So good luck to them, and happy hunting to our chest-thumping Indian brothers and sisters, but I regret I cannot join your farcical charade and jamboree.

(The views and opinions expressed in the writeup are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Rational Daily. Any content provided by authors is of their opinion.)

Markandey Katju

Written by Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju is the former Chairman, Press Council of India. Prior to his appointment as Chairman, Press Council of India, he served as a Permanent judge at the Supreme Court of India.

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