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

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

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.

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