West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen on Friday expressing solidarity after the latter's name cropped up in the list of people "illegally occupying land" belonging to the prestigious Visva-Bharati University in Shantiniketan.
"We are all aware of your family's deep and organic linkages with Santiniketan. Your maternal grandfather, the revered Kshitimohan Sen was one of the early leading settlers in Santiniketan, while your fatger Ashutosh Sen, a noted educationist and ouvlic administrator had his famed house Pratichi built up in Santiniketan abour eight decades back. Yours has been a family weaved in the culture and fabric of Santiniketan, inalienably," wrote Mamata in her letter.
The Bengal chief minister then goes on to mention how nouveau invaders have raised baseless allegations against Sen's family properties, hinting at BJP's influence over the Central university.
"This pains me, and I want to express my solidarity with you in your battles against the bigotry of the majoritarians in this country, the battles that have made you an enemy of these forces of untruth," added Mamata.
The final portion of the letter potrays Mamata as a saviour for Sen against the intolerance.
"Kindly count me as your sister and friend in your just war against intolerance and totalitarianism. Let us not be daunted by their untrue accusations and unfair attacks. We shall overcome."
The university had written to the state government saying that the land owned by the university was being shown as the private property of individuals, which included Amartya Sen.
Sen has allegedly illegally occupied 13 decimals of land. This is in addition to the 125 decimal land legally leased to his late father by the university. However, Sen has denied the allegations.