Hard work is more powerful than Harvard.

“In fact, hard work is more powerful than Harvard”, said India’s Prime Minister.

[He said this, mocking his demonetisation critics. India’s GDP growth is at a higher-than-expected 7.1 per cent for the previous quarter despite the demonetisation. Therefore his above statement came out mocking Professor Amartya Sen who had previously criticised the government’s demonetisation decision by saying demonetisation is a “despotic action that has struck at the root of the economy based on trust”. I assume Modi by his statement meant we have achieved a steady GDP growth by hard work when Harvard economist and some other experts predicted otherwise. Fair enough, nevertheless, the time will tell whether the ‘hard work’ by the government was channelled towards sustaining the economic growth or manipulating the GDP calculation. Anyway, it is another argument for another time]

In fact, Amartya Sen does not give a damn about your GDP and Income-per-capita metrics as true indicators of development.

Coming back to the statement made, “Hard work is more powerful than Harvard”?

Seriously? He means to say getting through Harvard is mere luck and getting a distinction in your studies is the result of inborn intelligence and being a professor in Harvard is your fortune or as they say ‘it was written’?

Forget about being a professor in Harvard, a student can’t even get close to a merit (forget about the distinction) in any prestigious University without hard work and determination.

Excellence, intelligence and skills are not a product of luck but years of persistent hard work. And Harvard is a symbol of excellence, intelligence and skill. Hence, Harvard and hard work go hand in hand.

When he says hard work is more powerful than Harvard, is he inferring that Professor Amartya Sen happens to be a Harvard professor and a Nobel laureate in Economics by chance? It just happened?

One must know his decades of hard work and research around economic science. His work around capability approach and development economics which gives him that honour. Formulation of the Human Development Report was vastly influenced by his development economic theory. If one doesn’t understand what he is speaking then it’s their loss. I don’t mean you should agree with everyone from Harvard, but how you disagree that matters.

It is awful when the head of a state has such an attitude towards education, knowledge, prestigious institutes, their achievements and enormous contribution to the world.

Why does he fight against the esteemed education institutes and what does he hold against the intellectuals? Is it because they question? And question to the core that shakes up one’s fundamental ideas and ideology.

If Harvard was in India, would Amartya Sen be another KK? If he had a beard, SuSu would have called him a Maoist, this is how he refers to people with beards who oppose him. Modi and his party will always dislike Sen because he puts people first, he talks about poverty, inequalities, freedom, functioning, opportunities etc etc which are contrary to their worldview. You can disagree, but only with the quality of your argument not by your emotion and again, you can’t dislike them, it is a battle of ideas.

It also seems to me that indoctrination is the mission of some political parties. They want to maintain the culture of blind beliefs, wishful thinking and brainwash the minds of youth to gain support.

India’s median age is below thirty (29) and in the coming decades they will be running this country. When you expect them to believe in your emotional speeches instead of promoting knowledge and a culture of intellectual debates and research-based education, it is clear what you want to achieve. It is scary in fact.

It is not who is right, but what is right. We need a nation where people think critically rather than being indoctrinated to worship a man. If as a leader you discourage critical/rational thinking, we will suffer, history stands witness to this fact.


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