The first episode had Sen, Chomsky, and WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan speaking on ‘Kerala – Future Paths of Development’.
In a novel initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kerala government launched the ‘Kerala Dialogue’ – a debate series on new concepts and development models. Noted political thinker Noam Chomsky, and Nobel-laureate economist Amartya Sen were some of the visionaries to join this unique initiative.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated this series which featured prominent personalities from various walks of life including scientists, diplomats, writers, economists, philosophers, journalists, activists, technocrats, and people’s representatives.
All the episodes were telecasted through the Chief Minister’s official social media accounts.
The first episode saw Chomsky, Sen, and Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist, World Health Organisation, speaking on ‘Kerala – Future Paths of Development’. State Planning Board Vice-Chairman VK Ramachandran and Senior Journalist N Ram were the moderators.
In a video message delivered for the inaugural session, Chomsky said, “What is going to be a post-pandemic world depends on what people are doing right now.” He added that progressive international voices are heard from all over the world and that people were working very hard, relentlessly, to ensure that the world comes out of the pandemic.
Amartya Sen who spoke next from the US said it would be wrong to conclude that the pandemic of the coronavirus kills indiscriminately. “We hear in the New York Times the banality, again and again, that COVID-19 doesn’t reflect class or colour. Of course, it doesn’t, and we don’t expect it. The lessons could skip the human race if it fails to learn and understand things correctly”, said Sen.
Swaminathan said that the pandemic had not undergone any significant genetic changes to the scale of hampering the researchers to invent effective drugs or vaccines against the coronavirus. She added that the scientific community was inching towards a formidable solution to the pandemic at a pace and pain which was not unknown.
The Kerala government is of the view that the Kerala Dialogue series can ensure debates and dialogues on sustainable and inclusive development on the lines of the Kerala model.