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Indians in extreme pain: Abhijit Banerjee

Nobel laureate economist observes ‘small aspirations’ of people becoming even smaller now

Abhijit Banerjee

Abhijit Banerjee

Ahmedabad: People in India are in 'extreme pain' and the economy is still below the 2019 levels, with 'small aspirations' of people becoming even smaller now, Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Banerjee has said. He was virtually addressing students of the Ahmedabad University in Gujarat on Saturday night from the US during the varsity's 11th annual convocation which was also held online. The economist was sharing his observations from a recent visit to West Bengal.

"You (students) are in a place where you can give back. Society really needs it. We are in a time of extreme pain in India," he said.

"I just spent some time in rural West Bengal and stories you hear about, you know, all the aspirations that have been a little bit dashed are very real...small aspirations which became smaller now," Banerjee said. "I think we are in a moment of great pain.

The economy is still well below as against what it was in 2019. We don't know how much below, but it is substantially below. And I am not blaming anybody, I am just saying," said the economist, who won the Nobel Prize along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer in 2019. He also urged the students not to succumb to pressure from family or society in choosing their career paths, but have the courage to do what they really want to do in life.

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