December 23, 2008
What do policymakers and politicians do when those whom they look to for ideas and solutions say that they don’t have them? Where do they go for intellectual solace when the world’s top economists and thinkers, three of them Nobel laureate, candidly confess their own intellectual failures? How do you react when you hear luminaries, whose words exemplify the cutting edge of knowledge, say that they may only know what to do once the ongoing credit crisis is over, but not how to end it? Bring in the shrinks, I would suggest.
A bystander at the high table of economics, I was dazzled by the sheer expanse and depth of knowledge reflected in the elegant arguments that reviewed, critiqued and took forward the work of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen at an international conference held in Delhi. There are simpler ways of wishing Sen “Happy 75th Birthday”, but characteristic of their profession, 77 of the world’s top-ranked economists, philosophers, historians, policymakers and social scientists got together to offer him their best wishes, by writing 58 papers, now bound together into two brilliant volumes titled Arguments for a Better World, released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week — a must-read for policymakers.
Opinion in Hindustan Times