Rothschilds & Co funds units of ‘civil society’ in India that control narrative on ‘human rights violations’.



Amartya Sen has become hyperactive in attacking policies that benefit the people of India, but one fact he has been shy of disclosing during his attacks is his apparent conflict of interest by virtue of marrying Emma Rothschild, one of the heiresses of the world’s wealthiest family. The family have made money off India and the Indian government. The assets of the Rothschilds are estimated to be worth at least US$400 billion and the family has a reputation of enriching itself by finding opportunity even on growing misery around the world. The Rothschild family has a history of manipulating stock markets, funding world wars, engineering large scale decisions in their favour, exercising significant control over the banking system, and owning large media outlets to influence public opinion in their favour. Amartya Sen, of course, is the apostle of poverty.

The family business of Amartya Sen’s family on wife’s side, NM Rothschild & Sons, is seen as having made tremendous amounts of money during the United Progressive Alliance regime between 2004 and 2014, even as Sen’s blue-eyed-boy, Jean Dreze was a key member of Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council. The connection between Amartya Sen and his family’s business is not merely a tenuous one. On the contrary, Sen’s father-in-law himself, Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild, was part of the management of NM Rothschild & Sons. Victor’s cousin, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, owns a significant stake in the Economist magazine, which explains the magazine’s constant barbs against the Hindu community even as they support Sonia Gandhi and prop up Amartya Sen’s economic ideas.

One deal that is regarded as benefiting NM Rothschild & Sons during the UPA rule involves the e-auction of 3G spectrum. The firm had been chosen to conduct the e-auction even though they had never been known as a computer software firm. The firm pocketed Rs 30.5 crore for conducting the auction and this must be considered as a gift by the UPA government. It is not clear why there was a need for an e-auction when there were only a handful of participants in the bidding process. The most questionable aspect of this whole episode was that the Rothschilds were not a neutral third party, but had been retained by Aircel, which was looking for a buyer for their towers that were eventually sold for $1.8 billion. Of course, none of this has been probed even after 2014.

Today, several firms that involved NM Rothschild & Sons to swing deals during the UPA era are embroiled in financial scams. Apart from Aircel, which is caught up in the Aircel-Maxis scam, NM Rothschild was also involved in Vedanta’s purchase of Cairn India, Kingfisher Airlines taking over Air Deccan, and the promoters of Venkateswara Hatcheries acquiring the English Premier League football club, Blackburn Rovers. Each of these firms has come under the scanner of the authorities. Venkateswara Hatcheries was raided by the income tax sleuths after suspicions about transactions related to movements of huge amounts of cash in the wake of demonetisation. For this reason, Amartya Sen’s criticism of demonetisation may contain more than meets the eye.

A few months ago, it was determined that Rothschild Bank AG and one of its subsidiaries may have violated money laundering rules in the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB corruption case in Malaysia. This background of Rothschild Bank is combined with the fact that mergers and acquisitions, especially those spanning multiple international jurisdictions, readily lend themselves to allegations of being vehicles for money laundering through arbitrary valuation of the firm being acquired. As a definitive conclusion cannot be reached without a comprehensive inquiry, there is a need to investigate NM Rothschild activities in India and determine whether the unusually high rate of scams among their clientele is a coincidence.

The Rothschilds have been active in a number of sectors in India including infrastructure, financial advisory, healthcare, and food processing, and when one Rothschild firm sold its share in a joint venture to Del Monte Pacific, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, CEO of EL Rothschild said, “We are delighted to have brought this company to a point where it has attracted large international players like Del Monte Pacific. This is a positive way for us to participate in the explosive economic growth of India.” Amartya Sen has not extended the same consideration towards the poorer people of India who would also want to participate in the “explosive economic growth of India”. Instead, he has ranted and raved against policies that would allow Indians to participate in their own economy, and along with his protégés in the National Advisory Council of the UPA government, he has ensured that Indians would only qualify as recipients of small amounts of money thrown at them as part of welfare schemes wrapped in the name of “Mahatma Gandhi”, while being prevented from actively participating as productive members of the economy and competing against his family on wife’s side, the Rothschilds.

Amartya Sen’s recent salvos on India include demands of non-interference in what he calls the “civil society”, which really translates to foreign and foreign-funded non-governmental organisations that actively interfere in Indian politics. He asks for complete freedom for the Reserve Bank of India with no oversight by the Indian people or their democratically elected representatives even as those who control the RBI take instructions from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These demands may reflect his family’s priorities, as the proposal for setting up the RBI first arose during the hearings before the Indian Currency Committee in 1898 and 1899 from two members of the Rothschild clan—Alfred de Rothschild and his brother Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild. Both Rothschilds wanted RBI to be controlled from the West, with no oversight from the Delhi government, exactly as Amartya Sen now demands. Indian freedom fighters saw through this game of the British and defeated their efforts to create the Reserve Bank in the 1920s. The Rothschilds’ business in India goes back to a much earlier period. As far back as 1814, Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the grandfather of the two Rothschilds who provided inputs to the Currency Committee, was not only a voting member of the United Company of Merchants of England, Trading to the East Indies (also known as the East India Company), but was also among the few people eligible to be chosen as its director.

Today, Rothschild & Co funds units of the so-called “civil society” in India that control the narrative on what constitutes “human rights violations”. (Hint: Anything Hindus do is a violation of human rights unless it benefits those who wield power in America and Europe.) One organisation it funds is Prerana, which lists Asha for Education as a partner on its website. In 2002, the founder of Asha for Education, Sandeep Pandey, attended the party congress of the Naxalite group Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation and called for the unity of “revolutionary” organisations. CPI(ML)-L openly advocates an “armed revolution” and its stated objectives include the use of “illegal” methods and raising an army to wage a war against India. At their 2002 meeting, the party also honoured “comrade martyrs” or terrorists killed in action.

Like Amartya Sen, some in the UPA were aligned with the group friendly to the Naxalites and had Naxalite supporters on Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council. It is fitting that the government which was based on Amartya Sen’s economic policies ended up with the same track record as his family business—a trail of deals that enriched the wealthiest people in the world at the cost of the poorer people in the country.

Arvind Kumar can be reached at

Replies to “Strange saga of Amartya Sen and the Rothschilds”

  1. Strange saga of Arvind Kumar, UChicago and the right wing in India
    Arvind Kumar has become hyperactive in attacking policies put forward by the liberals and championing himself as someone who cares for the masses in India, but one fact he has been shy of disclosing during his attacks is his apparent conflict of interest by virtue of being a right wing BJP, RSS stooge in India and an UChicago alumni, the seat of right wing fundamentalism and economic policies that led to the Washington Consensus and untold miseries for millions of people where these policies were implemented. People lost their living, their entire lifetime savings and many a times their lives but Kumar endorses these right wing ideologies and chastises the liberals and any attempt to improve workers and common people’s power and collective bargaining ability. It is not unknown that the right wing have made money off poor people in India through various policies like demonetisation often depriving them of their livelihoods. The assets of the rich right wing whose face is Modi in India are estimated to be worth billions and the coterie of right wing politicians and businessmen has a reputation of enriching themselves by finding opportunity even at the expense of growing misery of common people all over India. For example, the right wing Gujrati Marwari business family have a history of manipulating stock markets (remember Harshad Mehta scam), funding wars against minorities (atrocities by cow protectors in the name of religion), engineering large scale decisions in their favor (GST, demonetisation), exercising significant control over the banking system (choosing RBI governors), and owning large media outlets (like Republic TV) to influence public opinion in their favor. Arvind Kumar, of course, is the messiah for common people of India.

  2. The article is 1) untruthful so far as Mr. Sen’s competition from Chanceler ship is concerned. We ha gone through statement of Nalanda University published in Hindu in this regard. He never received any salary. 2) Mr. Sen can’t be made responsible for the family business of his wife’s family.

  3. Will the author inform readers what was the cost of auctioning oil & natural gas blocks? How much did the agency doing the bidding charge?

  4. The author claims that since there were only a handful of bidders for the 3 G spectrum auction it was not necessary to to an e-auction. Is an e-auctiin a more transparent process than a paper auction? Has the BJP govt recommended e-auctions wherever possible? How many paper auctions were done by BJP govt as opposed to e-auctiins by the BJP govt in 2017-18 and 2018-19? Have they done e-auctions where the nu.ber of bidders were as low as three?

  5. Amerthya Sen lacks ethics and character. In the 80s he persuaded Dr. Subramanian Swamy to leave his high paying job and join IIT Delhi. But as soon as Dr. Subramanian Swamy arrived in India he had him fired on the advise of Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

  6. Amartya Sen married a woman he fell in love with. Post his marriage could he have influenced the Rothschild Family to change their business practices in line with his views on economics? It is utterly moronic to believe that he could have created even a ripple effect with their long established styles and ways.

    There is no paragon of all virtues in any human enterprise whether it is wealth building or political activity of any type across the world. All leading wealthy people including the ones in India have done many a manipulation to benefit their business or wealth.

    My argument is that Amartya Sen cannot be dragged into a controversy merely because he has a firm political stance.

    1. He only managed to get a Medal from his in-laws and flaut it around as a medal of honor whereas t is in reality a part of dowry

  7. Listening to illogical barbs against the government, by Amrtia Sen, it seemed obvious that all is not straight forward despite his credentials. He needs to be probed formally.

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