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...Does India’s tolerance of heterodoxy still hold? As we look around today’s India, the signs of tolerance seem to have faded fast. “Faith,” it has been said, “will move mountains.” It is an encouraging belief — when we need to move mountains. But in our day-to-day life, relying on unquestioned faith rather than on reasoning can be a big obstacle to leading an enlightened life, as Buddha discussed 2,500 years ago. Also, arguing and communication can restrain battles and bloodshed. To be sure, faith in good things can have many achievements (such as generating charity and philanthropy), but it can, in general, discourage the willingness to listen to others. And, faith in nasty things can cause cruelty and carnage. The Inquisitions that blackened medieval Europe for more than five centuries drew on faith — in the perceived duty to punish heterodoxy and kill the perpetrators. India has been, I have tried to argue, fortunate in having a particularly argumentative culture. ...Indian Express on July 4, 2017, midnight