New Delhi, Nov 26: Bharat Ratna and Nobel laureate, Amartya Sen criticised the demonetisation drive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb the black money. Amartya Sen said the Modi government’s idea of demonetisation is like accusing every Indian of having black money. Amartya Sen slammed Narendra Modi government for implementing the demonetisation scheme in haste and causing inconvenience to common man. The professor of Harvard University also opined that the demonetisation move won’t help the government in bringing back black money.

Amartya Sen slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to impose sudden ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, saying the move alleges all Indians are holding black money, unless they can establish they are not. “Telling the public suddenly that the promissory notes you have, do not promise anything with certainty, is a more complex manifestation of authoritarianism, allegedly justified — or so the government claims — because some of these notes, held by some crooked people, involve black money. At one stroke the move declares all Indians — indeed all holders of Indian currency — as possibly crooks, unless they can establish they are not,” Amartya Sen said in an interview with The Indian Express.

Amartya Sen said the demonetisation drive has only caused inconvenience to common man who are deprived of their money even if it was earned legally. “Only an authoritarian government can calmly cause such misery to the people — with millions of innocent people being deprived of their money and being subjected to suffering, inconvenience and indignity in trying to get their own money back,” said Amartya Sen.

Rejecting government’s claim that the demonetisation drive will help to curb black money, Amartya Sen said it will be another failure of Narendra Modi government. Amartya Sen said, “It is hard to see how. This will be as much of a failure as the government’s earlier promise of bringing black money stacked away abroad back to India (and giving all Indians a sudden gift — what an empty promise!). The people who are best equipped to avoid the intended trap of demonetisation are precisely the ones who are seasoned dealers in black money — not the common people and small traders who are undergoing one more misery in addition to all the deprivations and indignities from which they suffer.”

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh quoted Keynes and said in Rajya Sabha, “Those who say demonetisation is good in the long run should recall quote ‘In the long run we are all dead’.” Amartya Sen echoed the same sentiments, saying all that cause pain is not necessarily a good policy. “Good policies sometimes cause pain, but whatever causes pain – no matter how intense – is not necessarily good policy,” said Sen.