Independent thinking at Indian universities under “threat”, says Manmohan Singh

Kolkata: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today went on to say that independent thinking and free expression at Indian universities are under “threat” keeping in mind the situation at the University of Hyderabad (HCU) and Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Former PM further laid emphasis that the efforts to suppress peaceful dissent is undemocratic and further went on to say that “I believe every university must give the freedom to pursue knowledge even where the knowledge may be at odds with established intellectual and social traditions. We must guard this freedom zealously.”

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“Regrettably, independent thinking and free expression at Indian universities are now under threat,” he said. Political interference in academic appointments is highly short-sighted, he said. “Recent attempts to interfere with free expression of student community at the HCU and JNU are of particular concern,” he said.

Manmohan Singh also said that efforts to restrain peaceful dissent is not only inimical to learning but also undemocratic and suggested that all must make an effort to safeguard the autonomy of every university.

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