Our Correspondent / Kochi
Amidst the raging controversy of growing intolerance in the universities, President Pranab Mukherjee today said there should be no room for intolerant Indian and advised universities to engage in reasoned debate rather than propagate a culture of unrest.
The President also emphasised that a sense of national purpose and patriotism alone could lift the nation on to the road of sustained progress and prosperity, and also exhorted the countrymen to make efforts to strengthen India’s pluralism and diversity.
‘’Let us be uncompromising in rooting out violence, prejudice and hatred,’’ he said while delivering the KS Rajamony Memorial Lecture in Kochi.
As the tension between rival students’ camps in Delhi University after the Ramjas College clash between ABVP and AISA is at its peak, the President said,’’These temples of learning must resound with creativity and free thinking.’’
Mr Mukherjee also cautioned against the exploitation of fault lines in the society, intolerance and attack on women. He said, the society has always been characterised by the open contestation of diverse schools of thought and debate as well as discussion. The President said, freedom of speech and expression is one of the most important fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. He said, there must be space for legitimate criticism and dissent.
The controversy was stirred after ABVP allegedly attacked the organizers of a seminar in Ramjas College for inviting controversial students leader Umar Khalid, who has been booked by police for raising anti-India slogans at an event in JNU, and also JNU students union leader Shehla Rashid who had led the protests against the police action.