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“Think What You Have Never Thought Before”: Prof. Sundar Sarukkai’s Message to Students

IMG-20160330-WA000629 March 2016 | 5:15 PM: The second week of Azaadi lectures began with Professor Sundar Sarukkai’s “The Freedom to Think”, before a relatively low turnout of students.

“All a struggling student, engrossed in the academic toil, has intact is his/her thoughts and ideas [that] flow perennial when the mind is liberated to contemplate before reaching a conclusion”, Sarukkai shared his idea of Azaadi to the audience.

Director of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy & Humanities, Sarukkai has written extensively on science and philosophy and as introduced by Professor Gopal Guru at the Freedom Square last evening.

“The freedom to think is inextricably the origin of new thoughts. Thinking is a skill that inspires you to imbibe— being the foundational value for research in a university”, shared Sarukkai.

“You cannot imagine new ways to research for a better society unless you critically think, but this critical thinking has found lost ground with people who want to suppress ‘thoughts’. To think cannot be provoked, nor suppressed. It just happens, it pops up; you have little control over your thoughts. What you decide to pursue with your thoughts thereafter makes the difference. Thinking can [also] take you places— serene to the core.”

For Sarukkai, “curiosity captures the essence of free thinking” and nobody can “claim the arrest for deliberately thinking about something”. “Humans have a wonderful capacity for curiosity”, he observed, and emphasized that the most challenging aspect of free thinking is that uncontrollable aspect of how others will “infer when you express your thoughts”.


Asiya Baqar Naqvi is a student at CAAS and works for the News Pool of The Informer.

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