Calcutta, June 2: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today used a science platform to draw attention to a contemporary curse plaguing public life.
“In recent times, I have been observing a growing intolerance among our people of dissent and opinions that contradict the prevailing orthodoxy. We seem to be losing the ability to engage in a rational discourse where different points of view are expressed. Public debate is often hostage to sensationalism. I sometimes fear that a growing culture of narrow mindedness might affect the creative, innovative and imaginative instincts of our youth,” Singh told the Science Congress event at Calcutta University.
He also called for “the propagation of a scientific temper and an enlightened understanding of the meaning of the freedom of expression”.
The statement came a few weeks after the Ambedkar cartoon controversy. Mamata Banerjee, whose government was embroiled in a cartoon row, was on the dais when Singh spoke, although there was no suggestion that his comments were aimed at any individual.