The Indian sense of justice is poorly focussed, according to Nobel-winning economist Amartya Sen.
Delivering the Penguin annual lecture on 'justice and India' in Kolkata last evening, he said there is continued acceptance of lack of rudimentary facilities and gross injustices, while issues like farmland acquisition and losing national sovereignty turn into topics of hot debate.
"Justice demands removal of this tremendous deprivation from the world we live in. But what is amazing is the politicians' quiet acceptance without a little murmur of the persistent deprivation of facilities ... the social deprivation," he said, adding that the more evil injustices need to be dealt with first, as all ills cannot be eradicated at once.
According to him, under-nourishment, lack of education and medical facilities, and gender inequality amount to far greater injustice than land acquisition, the Indo-US nuclear deal or rising petroleum prices.
While acknowledging that the latter issues too were worth debate, he felt they attract far too much public attention, while lasting injustices like poverty, hunger and poor delivery of social services do not draw the attention they deserve. "There is urgent need for removal of these terrible deprivations," he said.
Coming down hard on the private medical sector, Sen pointed to the poor functioning of public health institutions.