Amid a raging debate over intolerance, Reserve Bank of India Chief Raghuram Rajan today said excessive political correctness stifles progress and called for an improved environment for tolerance and mutual respect.
Raghuram Rajan also said protection of right to question and challenge was essential for India to grow.
Speaking at the convocation of IIT Delhi, the RBI Governor said actions that physically harm anyone or show verbal contempt for a particular group, so that they damage the group’s participation in the marketplace for ideas, should certainly not be allowed.
“Sexual harassment, whether physical or verbal, has no place in society. At the same time, groups should not be looking for slights any and everywhere, so that too much is seen as offensive; the theory of confirmation bias in psychology suggests that once one starts looking for insults, one can find them everywhere, even in the most innocuous statements,” he said.
On whether ideas or behaviour that hurt a particular intellectual position or group be banned, he said: “Possibly, but a quick resort to bans will chill all debate as everyone will be anguished by ideas they dislike. It is far better to improve the environment for ideas through tolerance and mutual respect.”