Truly speaking, only two Indians, born in India, won the noble prize. These two Indians were Rabindranath Tagore who won it in 1913 and C. V. Raman who won it in 1930. Hargobind Khorana and S. Chandrashekhar also won noble prizes. They also were born in India but they were citizens of United States of America. We also consider Mother Teresa as an Indian noble prize winner though she was born in Albania. Amartya Sen won this prestigious prize in 1998.
Amartya Sen was born in 1933 at Shantiniketan (Bengal). Out of sixty five years, thirty five years he spent in West-England and America. He became a professor at the age of 29. He taught at some of the best Universities like Oxford and Hayward. He was a master of Trinity College at the time when this award was given to him. He was awarded the Noble Prize in Economic Science in 1998.
Though he is a westernized India, he has not forgotten his motherland. He has retained his Indian citizenship. He visits Shantiniketan every winter. He moves around in his 50 years old bicycle, he meets friends and goes about the town.
Sen was only nine when he saw the Bengal famine at 1943. He was readily shocked to see deaths in the streets. This famine was not the result of natural cause of scarcity of food and waters. It was an administrative and social failure. The agricultural product produced in Bengal was sent to Britain because of war by Churchill. Seen made it the mission of life to understand inequality. He thinks that economics is meaningless if it is not based on moral values. Millions of people in India are below poverty line. Thirty five per cent of Indians are illiterate and this figure is much higher among the women. His remedy to Indian ills is investment in primary education. But it will take a long time to bear fruit. The politicians are not interested in these things. They think that the basic problem in India is that the government has failed to take adequate action in expanding education, public health care, land reform and social security.
Many people say that Amartya Sen has nothing new to say. He has been repeating the same things over the last 20 years. But Seen says that he will continue to repeat them as long as social, political and economic inequalities are not given the proper attention.
We all are feeling a sense of great pride that another Indian has won the Noble Prize. The government of India has given him the Bharat Rattan. The best honour to him will be when the government and society plays heed to what he has been saying again and again.