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Any fear of ‘Muslim takeover in India’ baseless: Abhijit Banerjee | India News

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KOLKATA: Minorities in India, much like in the United States, were “not really anywhere close to being dominant” and the fear of any “Muslim takeover in India” was baseless, 2019 Economics Nobel-winner Abhijit Banerjee said here on Monday. It was his first public appearance in the city after receiving the Nobel on December 10 last year.

Minorities in both India and the US are “relatively economically and educationally” deprived, he said, alluding at least once in his speech to “the fringes of the ruling party (in India)”.

Banerjee spoke about the “fear of the other” among a section of population that, he felt, might not be bigoted individually. “There is talk about… at least from the fringes of the ruling party about the demographics of the Muslim population. These are just ways to demonise a population,” he said.

Noting that many of these narratives had no real basis, Banerjee said: “I don’t think there is any real fear that there will be a Muslim takeover in India.”

He also emphasised the importance of a non-partisan approach to politics. “I don’t want to join a political party but I want to remain useful…,” he added.

Banerjee drew parallels between the situation here and the condition of African-Americans and Mexicans in the US, where the minority community was “relatively economically and educationally deprived”. “…The minority is not really close to anywhere being dominant,” he said.

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