He was speaking to students at Ahmedabad University in Gujarat on Saturday night from the United States during the university’s 11th convocation which was also held online.
The economist shared his observations during a recent visit to West Bengal.
“You (the students) are in a place where you can give back. Society really needs it. We are living in a time of extreme pain in India,” he said.
“I just spent time in the West Bengal countryside and the stories you hear about, you know, all the aspirations that got a little bit disappointed are very real… little aspirations that have gotten smaller now,” said Banerjee.
“I think we’re in a time of great pain. The economy is still way below what it was in 2019. We don’t know how much below, but it’s significantly below. And I don’t blame it. nobody, I am. just to say it, “said the economist, who won the Nobel Prize with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer in 2019.
He also urged students not to give in to pressure from family or society in choosing their career path, but to have the courage to do what they really want to do with a living.
Banerjee also informed the public that he spent 10 days in Tihar Prison while studying at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi.
“When I was about to leave JNU and go to Harvard, I was in a student protest, and then I was taken to Tihar prison where I was held for ten days. When I got out, a lot of alumni told me that I had ruined my career, and Harvard or the United States will never let you in. They thought I should regret, ”he said.
To make his point on choosing careers, Banerjee pointed out that two of India’s great filmmakers – Satyajit Ray and Shyam Benegal – had degrees in economics but chose to follow a different path.
“Yet, they have done well in life. So instead of specific training, what is really important is that you are a lively, thoughtful and open human being. This is the most important part. “, did he declare.
At the convocation, 833 students, including four doctoral students, from the private university graduated.