Amartya Sen, one of the most intellectual and renowned personalities of India, has turned 84 today. Unarguably, the contributions made by this world-famous economist will always be admired by the country. Apart from being a Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Sen is an avid writer and philosopher. Not only he has presented his views and arguments regarding poverty and famine but he has also given practical solutions to fight starvation.
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As India’s leading economist Amartya Sen turns 84 today, let’s take a look at some of the facts associated with his life:
• Born in 1933, in a Bengali family, Sen was raised inside the Visva-Bharti campus, Shantiniketan. His maternal grandfather Kshiti Mohan Sen was a teacher of Sanskrit and medieval Indian culture.
• His mother Amita Sen was a writer who used to perform in many dance-drama productions of Rabindranath Tagore. After his mother’s request, Tagore named him Amartya, pronounced as ‘omorto’, which means immortal in Bengali.
• The Bengal Famine of 1943 had a huge impact on Amartya Sen. When he was just 9 years old, he came across a wandering man who hadn’t eaten for 40 days. While others teased the man, Sen wanted to help him out. Although his family’s financial situation was quite sound, the famine had a lasting impression on his mind.
• When he went to study Economics at Trinity College in Cambridge, he was amazed by the political diversity that he got to experience there. He could freely study both Karl Marx and Adam Smith without being labeled as a follower of either of the economist.
• Sen has written numerous books that have been translated into more than 30 languages around the world. Some of his books include- ‘Development as Freedom’, ‘The Argumentative Indian’, ‘Inequality reexamined’, etc
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• An unusual yet interesting fact about Amartya Sen is that he uses feminine pronouns while addressing an abstract person in a sentence. While everyone uses ‘he’ or ‘him’, he uses ‘she’ and ‘her’ to promote gender equality.
• Amartya Sen is one of the most highly acclaimed economists in India. He helped out in framing the United Nations’ Human Development Index in 2012. He even featured on the list of ‘World’s 50 most influential people’ by Time Magazine.
Amartya Sen Receiving the Bharat Ratna from the then President KR Narayan
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• He is the 6th Indian personality to win a Nobel Prize and first in Asia to receive the Economics Prize. He was also honored with Bharat Ratna, which is the highest civilian award of India.
• He has Bangladesh citizenship that he received in honor of his theory of welfare economics. The theory helped the government of Bangladesh to form a self-sufficient economy.