BJP, Naidu Dismiss Ansari’s Minority Remark
‘There may have been deep within you an anxiety but, perhaps, after today there would be no such worry. There will be a feeling of freedom to work, think & an opportunity to explain your view as per your fundamental thinking’ India secular not because of
Our Political Bureau
New Delhi: Vice-president-elect M VenkaiahNaiduandBJPleadership havedismissedtheremarksmadeby Vice-President Hamid Ansari that there is a sense of insecurity among minoritiesinthecountry.Theruling party alleged that Ansari may have madethesecommentswithaneyeon post-retirement rehabilitation. Ansari had in an interview said “ambience of acceptance” of minorities is under threat.
Naidu, who will take oath as vice president at 10 am on Friday, did not makeanydirectreferencetoAnsari, but said the contention that minoritieshaveasenseofinsecurityismere political propaganda. “Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda,” he said. “Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due,” Naidu told news agency PTI. He also expressed disagreement with the view that there is growing intolerance. He said Indian people and civilisation are most tolerant and that is what has made democracy a success here. Naidu said singling out one community will create a divide. “If you single out one community, other communities will take it otherwise. That is why we say all are equal. Appeasement for none, justice for all,” he said.
He said history has proved there is no discrimination against minorities. “They (minorities) got prominent positions, including constitutional responsibilities, because there is no discrimination, and also on account of their merit,” he said, adding that the country stands for “sarvadharmsadbhav”andsecularism is in the mind and blood of India.
“India is secular not because of political leaders but because of its people and civilisation,” he said.
Asked about incidents of alleged intolerance, Naidu said India is a huge country and there could be some “stray” occurrences, which are “nothing but aberrations”. However, headded,“Nobodycanjustifyattacks on fellow citizens on the basis of community.” Such incidents should be condemned and action should be takenbyappropriateauthorities,hesaid. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya termed Ansari’s remarks “petty” and wondered if the vice-president is looking for “political shelter” after retirement. “I condemn his comments,” Vijayvargiya said. “He has made political comments as he is retiring. He is still the vice-presidentand such comments do not suit the dignity of the office he holds,” he said. Meanwhile, Pri me Minister Narendra Modi led his government in bidding farewell to Ansari.
“Your life has been that of a career diplomat,” Modi said in the Rajya Sabha where the vice-president is ex-of ficio chairperson. “What is a career diplomat, I came to know only after becoming the prime minister, as their smile and the manner of their handshake is not immediately comprehensible. This is their training.”
He said Ansari’s past as a diplomat must have helped him in running the House. “A major part of your tenure as a diplomat has been spent in West Asia,” Modi said. “Many years of your life were spent in that circle. You lived in that atmosphere, that thought, the debates among those people. Even after retirement, your work was the same — be it the Minority Commission or Aligarh University (where Ansari was vice-chairman), your circle was the same,” he said. PM Modi underlined that in contrast the last 10 years must have been different for Hamid Ansari as he had to go by the boundaries set by the Constitution.
“You made your best effort to run the House by the Constitution,” he said. “There may have been deep within you an anxiety but perhaps after today there would be no such worry. There will be a feeling of freedom to work, think and an opportunity to explain your view as per your fundamental thinking,” Modi said.