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