Let There Be Debate & Dissension, But Not Intolerance: President Pranab Mukherjee

Let There Be Debate & Dissension, But Not Intolerance: President Pranab Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said Indians could be described as argumentative, but never intolerant.

“If our feet are firmly on the ground, we will not be blown off by ideas from outside.  India is a land of tolerance.  We adopt, embrace and absorb but never reject.  Let there be debate, disagreement and dissension, but not intolerance,” the President said.

Mr. Mukherjee was attending the 52nd annual convocation of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, in West Bengal.

He stated that the atmosphere in our institutions should be free from both physical as well as mental violence.

“Indians could be described as argumentative, but never intolerant.  In ancient India, seats of higher learning such as Nalanda, Vikramshila and Taxila attracted mighty minds from all over the world and truly became a confluence of civilisational thoughts and ideas,” he said.

Quoting Gandhiji, he said: “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”

“If our feet are firmly on the ground, we will not be blown off by ideas from outside.  India is a land of tolerance.  We adopt, embrace and absorb, but never reject,” he said.