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In universities, you can’t tell the other side you’re anti-national: Raghuram Rajan

The former Reserve Bank of India chief also said, “Any university will court controversy but the point is that controversy should be protected.”

india Updated: Mar 24, 2018 13:29 IST
PTI, Mumbai
Raghuram Rajan,Former RBI governor,Anti national
Raghuram Rajan was speaking on the sidelines of announcing the launch of Krea University.(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT File Photo)

Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said on Friday universities need to be “safe spaces” where debates take place and no one is shouted down after being branded an “anti-national”.

Every stream of thought needs to be encouraged in a varsity, he said, citing instances like one of his colleagues at the University of Chicago inviting President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Banon to speak, despite not agreeing with his views.

“We need to learn to respect universities as places where ideas are debated and you don’t shout down the other side and say that ‘no, no, you don’t have the right to speak like this or you are anti-national’,” he told reporters in Mumbai.

“We have to, as a society, create safe spaces where debates and discussions take place, where people using freedom, not licence, can express their views which can take the society forward,” Rajan said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of announcing the launch of Krea University, which will be devoted to liberal arts and humanities apart from science.

“Any university will court controversy but the point is that controversy should be protected. Part of the point is to debate. Sometimes ideas that are unappealing come forward and are shot down.”

“I think the process is good and over time these ideas become mainstream. For instance women’s rights is something that was debated in the 19th century which overtime we have come to accept,” he said.

First Published: Mar 24, 2018 13:23 IST