Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday said freedom of speech is a "non-negotiable and uncompromising" asset of India, and any deviation from it will be a "compromise” on the sovereignty and wholesomeness of the country.
Inaugurating the 'Lokmanthan 2022' here, he also said the category of "pseudo intellectuals" are on the rise in India, and they need to be curtailed.
"The freedom of expression in India is non-negotiable and we cannot compromise on it. If we depart from this, we will compromise with the sovereignty and wholesomeness of the country," Dhankhar said.
The legislature has an important role to play in democracy, the Vice President said, but expressed regret that nowadays issues are being discussed on the streets instead of the floor of the assembly.
"Another concerning trend that needs to curtailed is the problem of pseudo intellectuals. Can public space be allowed to be dominated by this category of people with the help of media-created eclipses?" Dhankhar said.
He also said the role of intellectuals is very critical, and they must engage in proactive dialogue, debate and discussion. "They must reflect the challenges India is facing. They should play on the front foot with a straight bat. I cannot imagine how intellectuals remain silent seeing violation of human rights," he added.
(With PTI inputs)