Indians are in “a moment of great pain”: Nobel prize winner Abhijit Banerjee

Indians are in “extreme pain” and the country’s economy is still below the 2019 levels, with “small aspirations” of people becoming even smaller now, Nobel prize winner for Economics in 2019, Abhijit Banerjee has said.

Banerjee was virtually speaking to students of the Ahmedabad University on Saturday from the United States during the varsity’s 11th annual convocation.

“You (students) are in a place where you can give back. Society really needs it. We are in a time of extreme pain in India,” PTI news agency quoted the economist as saying.

“I just spent some time in rural West Bengal and stories you hear about, you know, all the aspirations that have been a little bit dashed are very real…small aspirations which became smaller now,” he said while sharing his observations from a recent visit to West Bengal.

He went on to say: “I think we are in a moment of great pain. The economy is still well below as against what it was in 2019. We don’t know how much below, but it is substantially below. And I am not blaming anybody, I am just saying.”

The economist also said to students that he had spent 10 days in Tihar jail during his student days for participating in a demonstration at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi.

He said: “When I was about to leave the JNU and go to Harvard, I was in a student demonstration and then I was taken to Tihar jail, and kept there for ten days. When I came out, lot of elders told me that I have ruined my career, and Harvard or the US will never let you in. They thought I should be regretful.”


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