One-on-One with Barun Mitra
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E: You were recent awarded the Julian L. Simon Award by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. This must have been gratifying and deeply moving, since Simon played such a person role in the development of your think tank. Can you tell us about your friendship with Julian and Rita Simon, and what his work means to the Liberty Institute?
B: Julian Simon is my inspiration. His boundless belief in humanity—particularly human creativity and ingenuity—has made me into an eternal optimist, and given me the confidence to face the world….He introduced me to the whole community of freedom-loving intellectuals. He introduced me to Atlas, and the world of think tanks. I felt so honored when Julian and Rita Simon came to India to attend one of our first conferences in 1997….Today, I feel extremely humbled by this particular award. It is like the Nobel Prize for me. And the challenge before me is to try and live up to it in the coming years.