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Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan's speech: Tolerance and Respect for Economic Progress

Author: Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, Reserve Bank of India, Published on: 31 October 2015

I will speak on why India’s tradition of debate and an open spirit of enquiry is critical for its economic ideas, new methods of production, better logistics – these are what lead to sustained economic growth...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. For example, 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. Indeed, if what you do offends me but does not harm me otherwise, there should be a very high bar for prohibiting your act. After all, any ban, and certainly any vigilante acts to enforce it, may offend you as much, or more, than the offense to me. Excessive political correctness stifles progress as much as excessive license and disrespect.



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