Today, 1st march 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj. Days after Amartya Sen’s criticism on demonetization move, prime minister delivered his riposte that hard work is more powerful than Harvard. It comes after GDP data shows that ban on 500 and 1000 rupee notes in November and December 2016 did not affect India’s GDP growth as hard as economists had predicted during that period.
“Well-known intellectual economists from Oxford and Harvard universities, who have been holding a key position in the Indian economy, said that GDP growth would go down by 2-4%, but GDP data didn’t show that,” said Narendra Modi in the rally.
Without naming anyone Modi said, “there are those intellectual peoples who talk about Oxford and Harvard but in India, there is this son of a poor mother who is trying to improve the economy of the country”. “In fact, hard work is much more powerful than Harvard”.
GDP Data released on Tuesday showed that despite the demonetization effect, India’s GDP growth clocked a much better-than-expected growth rate of 7% in the October-December quarter, retaining its place as the fastest-growing economy in the world. Top economists of India thought that GDP growth will be decreased to 6.4%, but it didn’t decrease so much, it was 7%. Even it was greater than China’s 6.8% GDP growth rate. The federal statistics office retained its GDP growth forecast for this fiscal year at 7.1 percent.
Some of the great economists including Amartya Sen had criticized Narendra Modi’s demonetization move and termed it as a ‘bad economics’. However, Prime Minister Modi has now responded in his style, saying: “Ek taraf vo hain jo Harvard ki baat karte hain,Oxford Ki baat karte hain or dusre taraf ye gareeb ma ka beta hardwork se desh ki economy ko badalne ka kousish kar rahein hai (On the one hand these people are talking about what people at Harvard say, on the other, a poor mother’s son is trying, through his hard work, to improve India’s economy),” Modi said, while addressing the rally in Maharajganj.
A few days ago Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen termed demonetization a big disaster on the economy of trust. According to him, the reason for India’s fast growth since last 20 years is all based on the acceptance of each other’s word. And demonetization has hit at the root of this. Dr. Sen also said: “Demonetization is the big mistake in terms of its objective to deal with corruption and in terms of its objective for the rapid jump of getting into a digital, cashless economy”.
Almost two months after what Dr. Sen had said, Modi responded by saying, “Hard work is more important than what Harvard thinks.” Coming back to the election in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the electorate already has ensured Bhartiya Janta Party’s victory in the first five phases and in the remaining two rounds BJP will receive surplus votes as gift and bonus