“Some of you may be familiar with the American magazine National Interest. In their latest issue… there are two essays on secularism in India. This is indicative of the concern in the wider international community about what India’s secularism means for the world… The fact that we are a plural society is not a matter of debate… As many as 4,600 communities live with diversity in language, faith, food, clothing, lifestyle and in every other conceivable way.
The trouble today… is whether the state is doing or should be doing what it needs to as per the mandate of the Constitution. The dialogue about religion has always existed in this country and will continue to do so. But the only way this dialogue will be productive is if there is physical security. But the debate needs to move beyond the academics, elite and policymakers. After all, who can guarantee that my neighbour eats the same food as me and follows the same faith?”
“Secularism is not dead, but it is definitely under stress.”
No prizes for guessing, these are the golden words of the Ex-Vice President of India – Mohammad Hamid Ansari. He has done it again.
Source: Indian Express
Hamid Ansari has been the longest Serving Vice President of India, a record he shares with Sarvapalli Dr. Radha Krishnan and, yet he believed that even the presidents and vice presidents shouldn’t be politically neutral. Hamid Ansari’s term as the Vice President of India was largely uneventful until the 2014 general elections which saw a BJP led NDA obtaining a brute majority. After 2014, Hamid Ansari found himself in one controversy or the other, not participating in Yoga day celebrations three years in row to not saluting the flag during the Republic Day Parade are to name a few. But he did ensure that he left his mark during his last days as the Vice President by taking potshots at the government with his statement that Muslims are feeling insecure in India. On the last day of his office, Ansari made a statement that there is a state of unease and insecurity among the Muslims of India. This statement was backed by certain sections of the media who have been going on with this narrative of insecurity among Muslims for quite some time now.
Sometime in 2015, Hamid Ansari came out batting in support for affirmative actions for Muslims. He was speaking at the golden jubilee function of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat in New Delhi. Instead of using his position to influence the community to shun medieval notions and embrace change, he supported reservations for Muslims.
Then in 2016, Hamid Ansari again donned the hat of protector of Muslim coreligionists from majority community. He asked the courts to ” clarify the contours within which the principles of secularism and composite culture should operate with a view to strengthen their functional modality and remove ambiguities”. Basically, translated as, how minorities should be protected from the onslaught of majoritarianism.
PM Modi bid farewell to Hamid Ansari with a speech laced with Sarcasm. He took multiple jibes at the Outgoing VP and flattened his claims in a speech pregnant with Mockery. The basic inference of PM Modi’s speech was that VP Hamid Ansari was never a Vice President but a spokesperson of Muslims.
Well looks like even after getting humiliated by the PM on his last day as the vice president of India, Ex VP Hamid Ansari hasn’t learnt the lesson.