The president’s voice of reason

There should be no room in India for the intolerant Indian

GN Bureau | March 3, 2017


#Intolerance   #Universities   #Pranab Mukherjee   #President  


Here are the 10 key elements from the 6th K.S. Rajamony Memorial Lecture on ‘India@70’ delivered by President Pranab Mukherjee:

Our premier institutions of higher education are the 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.  Our society has always been characterized by the open contestation of diverse schools of thought and debate as well as 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.

Our leaders and political activists must listen to the people, engage with them, learn from them and respond to their needs and concerns.

Our law makers 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 as well as finding solutions to their problems.

The trust placed by the people in the political system and those elected should not be betrayed.

When we brutalize a woman, we wound the soul of our civilisation. Not only does our Constitution guarantee equal rights to women but our culture and tradition also celebrate the feminine as divine.

The acid test of any society is its attitude towards women and children.  India should not fail this test.

The nation and the people must always come first. 

 

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