Kolkata: Lashing out at the Visva-Bharati for asking him to hand over parts of a plot he was allegedly occupying “unauthorisedly” at Santiniketan, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Wednesday said he does not understand why the central university suddenly has become “so active” in trying to drive him out of that place.
A day after getting a letter from the varsity in this regard, he also said he does not understand “the politics” behind the move.
The noted economist asserted that most of the land he is holding in Santiniketan was purchased from the market by his father in the 1940s while some other plots were taken on lease.
“I could not see any subtlety in their (university authorities’) thinking. I also do not understand the politics behind this attitude of Visva-Bharati University,” he said.
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“This is my residence which was built on leased land from Visva-Bharati in the 1940s. The land was leased out to us for 100 years. Some of the land was also bought by my father from the market following all rules and regulations. There was no danger of overstaying,” Prof Sen told PTI.
The economist said that the plots were purchased from the Zamindars of nearby Surul and the necessary documents regarding the deal were submitted to the (government) authorities.
“I do not see any reason to waste my time on this matter. It’s very difficult to understand why Visva-Bharati has suddenly become active in trying to drive me out,” he said.
Visva Bharati on Tuesday asked Sen to hand over parts of a plot of land in Santiniketan, claiming that he has been occupying the portion in an unauthorised manner.
A letter signed by the deputy registrar of the university to Sen said, “It has been found from records and physical survey/demarcation that you are in unauthorised occupation of 13 decimals of land belonging to Visva Bharati…”.
In January 2021, Visva-Bharati Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty had accused Sen’s family of being in illegal possession of land on the campus.
There have been allegations from certain quarters that the university’s actions may be politically motivated given the fact that Sen has been critical of many central government policies.