Congress MP and former union minister Shashi Tharoor has said that the autonomy of universities was very important for development of the nation.
“We should encourage arguments and ideas in our universities. A democracy as strong as ours should not fear from ideas,” he said while responding to media queries regarding the JNU row during his Indore visit on Thursday.
“I will introduce a private member’s bill in Parliament against sedition. Until and unless arguments and ideas turn violent (maar-peet), charges of sedition should not be levelled against any person. People must be allowed to say whatever they want to,” Tharoor said.
The former minister said that the students in universities should be allowed to argue freely and ideate. “They are young brains, many ideas come into mind, not all ideas may be good, but that does not mean we should snub freedom of thought and expression. India is a strong nation with strong values, and we do not have to fear from some comments made by a few students,” he said.
Tharoor also defended Rahul Gandhi’s support to JNU students. “Patriotism is not anybody’s copyright. He (Gandhi) only upheld the constitutional values of freedom of speech,” Tharoor said.
“The entire JNU episode is portraying our nation in bad light before the world. The liberal newspapers of the world are saying that Indian government is showing authoritarian tendencies, and Indian democracy is in danger.”
“The government should try to put an end to the situation,” he said.
Tharoor said, “on one hand the government is promoting ‘Make in India’ in the entire world, but at the same time they are promoting ‘Break in India’ in our country.”
Tharoor was in the city as chief guest on the inaugural day of a three-day convention of the Indian Institute of Indian Interior Designers.