“Everybody is giving the diagnosis but we need some kind of prescription”

Research into sensitive issues should go beyond finding facts or offering diagnosis and come up with solutions that can pave the way for reforms, West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan said on Thursday.

Interacting with research scholars and journalists at The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy here, he said the outcome of research should be open to debate involving all stakeholders so that a homogenous solution could be arrived at.

“Policy scholars will have a good insight into issues. Everybody is giving the diagnosis but we need some kind of prescription … Governments are looking for answers. A lot of research is being done and there has to be some fulfilment. The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy can do much more in this regard.”

The former National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister said any research into the Muzaffarnagar incident should help in preventing another riot in the Uttar Pradesh town. “I know there is a disobedient democracy … in a democracy we need dissent, opposition, etc, but we also need progress.”

He said The Hindu centre should make a difference by including solutions in the final report of scholars as such solutions could not be expected from academic think tanks. However, research outcome should not be seen as an attempt to rewrite the rules of the government rules. “The advantage The Hindu has is that everybody respects your coverage because facts are sacrosanct. I would say 90 per cent of the time the facts are as close to the truth. The Hindu has certain credibility, when you say something it has much greater credibility than any other institution.”

On nationalism, Mr. Narayanan referred to the identity crisis in the country and said the ethnic crisis in the north-east was different from what was prevalent in the rest of India.

N. Ram, Member, Board of Management, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, welcomed the gathering. Malini Parthasarathy, Director, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, outlined the activities of the centre and said it was undertaking research on current topics and promoting debate. N. Murali, Director, Kasturi and Sons Ltd., spoke.

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