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10/31/2015

Hastybanshinderprogress:RaghuramRajanTheHindu

NATIONAL

Published:October31,201516:22IST|Updated:October31,201519:00IST
NEWDELHI,October31,2015

Hastybanshinderprogress:RaghuramRajan
TCASharadRaghavan

RBIGovernorRaghuramRajanaddressingtheIITDelhiConvocationinNewDelhionSaturday.Photo:SandeepSaxena
RBIGovernorwentontoexplainthattoleranceimpliesnotbeingsoinsecureaboutonesideasthatonecannotsubjectthemtochallenge.
ReserveBankofIndiaGovernorRaghuramRajanonSaturdaycalledforanendtovigilanteactsinthepursuitofenforcingbans,sayingthat
theywillstifleprogress.ThiscomesadayafterratingsagencyMoodysaskedPrimeMinisterNarendraModitoreininhispartymembersor
risklosingglobalcredibility.
Indeed,ifwhatyoudooffendsmebutdoesnotharmmeotherwise,thereshouldbeaveryhighbarforprohibitingyouract.Afterall,any
ban,andcertainlyanyvigilanteactstoenforceit,mayoffendyouasmuch,ormore,thantheoffencetome.Excessivepoliticalcorrectness
stiflesprogressasmuchasexcessivelicenseanddisrespect,DrRajansaidwhiledeliveringthechiefguestsaddressattheconvocationat
IITDelhi.
Aquickresorttobanswillchillalldebateaseveryonewillbeanguishedbyideastheydislike.Itisfarbettertoimprovetheenvironmentfor
ideasthroughtoleranceandmutualrespect,theGovernoraddedinhisspeechonwhyIndiastraditionofdebateandanopenspiritof
enquiryiscriticalforitseconomicprogress.
Takingoffencesuffersfromafeedbackloop,DrRajansaid.Groupslookingforinsultseverywheresufferfromthetheoryofconfirmationbias
inpsychology,heexplained.Thatis,themoretheylookforinsults,themoretheyfindthem.
Whileyoushouldavoidpressingthebuttonsthatupsetmetotheextentpossible,whenyoudopushthemyoushouldexplaincarefullywhy
thatisnecessarysoastomovethedebateforward,andhowitshouldnotbeinterpretedasapersonalattackonme.Youhavetotread
respectfully,assuringmethatachallengetotheideasIholdisnecessaryforprogress,DrRajansaid.
Atthesametime,peopleshouldendeavourtoholdveryfewideassocloselyintertwinedwiththeirpersonalitythatanyattackonthemis
deemedanintolerablepersonalaffront.
TheRBIGovernorwentontoexplainthattoleranceimpliesnotbeingsoinsecureaboutonesideasthatonecannotsubjectthemto
challenge.Itimpliesadegreeofdetachmentthatisabsolutelynecessaryformaturedebate,hesaid.
DrRajanconcludedhisspeechbyexhortingthegraduatingclassesatIITDelhitoupholdIndiastraditionsofdebateinanenvironmentof
respectandtolerance.
Ontheroleofeducationalinstitutionsinencouragingdebate,DrRajansaidthatthefirstessentialistofostercompetitioninthemarketplace
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10/31/2015

Hastybanshinderprogress:RaghuramRajanTheHindu

forideas.Thismeansencouragingchallengetoallauthorityandtradition,evenwhileacknowledgingthattheonlywayofdismissingany
viewisthroughempiricaltests.Whatthisrulesoutisanyoneimposingaparticularvieworideologybecauseoftheirpower,hesaid.
TheRBIGovernorisanalumnusofIITDelhi,havinggraduatedinelectricalengineeringin1985.
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