India can't afford to become intolerant society: Rajan
New Delhi: Amid nationwide outrage over the murder of an outspoken journalist, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on Thursday said India cannot afford to become an intolerant society as tolerance is "extremely important" for its economic growth.
Rajan, who exited Reserve Bank of India a year ago, had courted controversy in 2015 lecture where he talked about growing intolerance in the country, deviating from his usual focus on monetary policy issues. In an interview, he justified his comments saying public figures have a responsibility to "sometimes speak up on what is good for the country. I just think it had to be said".
That lecture was followed by the incident of beating to death of a Muslim man suspected of having eaten beef with various critics warning that protection of individual rights was giving way to a strident majoritarianism.
The murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh is unfortunate, Rajan said.
Lankesh, an outspoken critic of Hindutva politics, was shot dead in Bengaluru on Tuesday.