Nobel laureate and distinguished economist Prof Amartya Sen has remarked that Indians have been “much too tolerant” of intolerance. He made this observation while delivering the annual ‘Rajendra Mathur Memorial Lecture’ on the topic “The centrality of the right to dissent” organised by the Editors Guild of India
He advised people to “work hard” to preserve the tradition of tolerance and plurality which he said was not being done adequately.
He emphasised that intolerance of dissent did not start with the “present government”. This period has only added substantially to the restrictions that already were, he said.
He also called for a re-examination of the need to continue with “remnants” of the the colonial rule such as Section 377 and Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which he said impose “unfreedom” on people.
“The Constitution does not have anything against having beef or storing it in the refrigerator,” Sen said.