Shun prejudice, hatred on campuses: Prez

Shun prejudice, hatred on campuses: Prez

 In a significant statement, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said that conversation and dialogue are part of our ethos and life and it cannot be done away with in India.

“Ancient India was known for the high level of philosophical debate and discussion it nurtured. India was not a mere geographical expression, but it reflected an idea and a culture. Conversation and dialogue are part of our ethos and life. They cannot be done away with. Universities and higher education institutions are the best for free exchange of views,” Mukherjee said.

He was speaking after conferring an honorary DLitt on Dr M S Swaminathan at a special convocation of the University of Mumbai.

The President’s statement assumes significance in the wake of the recent incidents in educational institutions and universities in the country.

“We should embrace free conversation and even argument, leaving behind narrow mindsets and thoughts,” he said.

“The lesson for a modern Indian university is to ensure that this great tradition finds new life and vigour within its precincts. There should be no room for intolerance, prejudice and hatred within the spaces of our educational institutions. They must act as flag bearers for the coexistence of multiple views, thoughts and philosophies,” he added.

Mukherjee pointed out that a good education system is one that can help develop social responsiveness in students.

The 21st century is expected to be an ‘Asian century’ with Asian countries regaining their pre-eminence in the world through all-round development. The post 80s’ performance of Asian economies is a symbol of this Asian resurgence, the President added.

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