Indian Nobel laureate Dr Amartya Sen vehemently criticised the government’s move on Kashmir, saying it not only emphasised majority rule “as opposed to it sustaining the rights of all human beings”.

“I don’t think ultimately you will have any resolution in Kashmir without democracy,” he told an Indian News media outlet in an interview.

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Pointing out the loopholes in the government’s decision on multiple levels, the 85-year-old said: “As an Indian, I am not proud of the fact that India, after having done so much to achieve a democratic norm in the world — where India was the first non-Western country to go for democracy — that we lose that reputation on the grounds of actions that have been taken”.

Amid anticipation about the possibility buying land in Jammu and Kashmir by people from other states, Dr Sen said it should have been “something for the people of the state (Jammu and Kashmir) to decide”.

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“This is something in which Kashmiris have a legitimate point of view because it is their land,” he said.

He was also critical of the government’s decision to keep the mainstream political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir under arrest.

“I don’t think you will ever have fairness and justice without hearing the voices of the leaders of the people and if you keep thousands of leaders under restraint and many of them in jail, including big leaders who have led the country and formed governments in the past … you are stifling the channel of democracy that makes democracy a success,” he said.

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Lashing out at the Indian government’s ridiculous military presence in the area in the name of “preventive measures,” Sen said that the excuse held no substance and was one used by the colonial occupants in the past.

“That’s the classic colonial excuse. That’s how the British ran the country for 200 years,” Dr Sen said. “The last thing that I expected when we got our independence… is that we would go back to our colonial heritage of preventive detentions,” he added.

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