Speaking in Kochi, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said there is 'no room in India for the intolerant Indian'.
Kochi (Kerala): Weighing in on the recent violence between Left-wing organizations and RSS student wing ABVP on the Delhi University campus, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said there is "no room in India for the intolerant Indian".
Delivering a lecture on 'India at 70' today in Kerala's Kochi, President Mukherjee said
India has always been a "bastion of free thought, speech and expression". Freedom
of speech and expression is also enshrined in the Constitution as a fundamental right,
"There must be space for legitimate criticism and dissent," the President opined.
Mukherjee said that 'when we brutalise a woman, we wound a civilisation's soul', probably referring to the rape threats against martyr Gurmehar Kaur for taking an anti-ABVP stand.
"The acid test of any society is its attitude towards women and children," Mukherjee added.
However, he said that those in eminent universities "must engage in reasoned
discussion and debate rather than propagate a culture of unrest".
"The time has come for collective efforts to rediscover the sense of national purpose and patriotism," the President added, exhorting the youth to love their country.
"It is tragic to see students being caught in the vortex of violence and disquiet. The temples of learning must be places of creativity and free thinking," Mukerjee said.