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There should be no room for intolerant Indian, universities must not propagate culture of unrest: President Pranab Mukherjee

Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday that universities must engage in reasoned discussion and debate rather than propagate a culture of unrest and yhere should be no room in India for the intolerant Indian.

Delivering the sixth KS Rajamony memorial lecture on the topic ‘India@70’ in Kochi, Kerala, he said, “Our premier institutions of higher education are vehicles on which India has to propel itself into a knowledge society. These temples of learning must resound with creativity and free thinking. Those in universities must engage in reasoned discussion and debate rather than propagate a culture of unrest.”

“It is tragic to see them caught in the vortex of violence and disquiet. There should be no room in India for the intolerant Indian. India has been since ancient times a bastion of free thought, speech and expression,” President Mukherjee added.

He maintained, “Our society has always been characterized by the open contestation of diverse schools of thought and debate/discussion. Freedom of speech and expression is one of the most important fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution. There must be space for legitimate criticism and dissent. Leaders/political activists must listen to people, engage with them, learn from them and respond to their needs & concerns Our lawmakers must never take the people for granted.” 

“They must focus on the fundamental task of law-making and raising of issues of concern to the people. The trust placed by the people in the political system and those elected should not be betrayed. I do not consider a society or state to be civilised if its citizens’ behaviour towards women is uncivilised. When we brutalise a woman, we wound the soul of our civilisation,” the President said.

He pointed out, “The acid test of any society is its attitude towards women and children. The time has come for collective efforts to re-discover the sense of national purpose and patriotism. Sense of national purpose and patriotism alone can lift our nation on to the road of sustained progress and prosperity. The nation and the people must always come first.”

Source: Zee News