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BJP slams Hamid Ansari, PM Modi says now you are free to follow your core belief

The Prime Minister’s remarks in Rajya Sabha come four days after Ansari, speaking at the annual convocation of the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru, expressed concern over “enhanced apprehensions of insecurity amongst segments of our citizen body, particularly Dalits, Muslims and Christians”.

Written by Abantika Ghosh , Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Published: August 11, 2017 6:20 am
Hamid Ansari, Narendra Modi, Hamid Ansari minorities remarks, Venkaiah Naidu, BJP, Congress, Outgoing Vice-President Hamid Ansari with (from left) Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sumitra Mahajan, Narendra Modi, M Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar at his farewell function, in New Delhi on Thursday. (Source: PTI photo)

Bidding farewell to outgoing Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said “it is possible that there was some restlessness within you as well but from today you will not face that crisis”. He told Ansari “you now have the joy of being liberated, and the opportunity to work, think and speak according to your core beliefs”.

The Prime Minister’s remarks in Rajya Sabha come four days after Ansari, speaking at the annual convocation of the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru, expressed concern over “enhanced apprehensions of insecurity amongst segments of our citizen body, particularly Dalits, Muslims and Christians”.

Noting that Ansari belonged to a family which had been in public life for about 100 years and that his grandparents had at some point headed a national party or were in the Constituent Assembly, Modi recalled the family’s association with the Congress and the Khilafat movement.

He said Ansari’s life was that of a “career diplomat”, and it was “only after I became Prime Minister that I understood who is a career diplomat. Because one cannot immediately understand the meaning of their laughter or their handshake. That is their training. But I am sure this expertise must have been used during the 10 years here, benefiting the House.”

“You were associated with West Asia for a major part of your career as a diplomat. You spent many years of your life in that circle, in that atmosphere, in that thought, its debate and amid such people. For a major part after your retirement, whether it was in Minority Commission or Aligarh University, you remained in that circle. But for 10 years, you got a different responsibility. Every moment, you had to remain confined to the Constitution and you tried your best to fulfil that responsibility,” Modi told Ansari.

He said though he did not interact much with Ansari, he got insight into many issues from him whenever they met before or after his foreign visits. He conveyed his best wishes to Ansari and wished him long life.

Ansari, on his part, said: “The Chair is like an umpire in cricket or a referee in a hockey match, witnessing the play and the players, but without becoming a player. Its only source of reference is the book of rules. This House is a creation of the Constitution and reflective of the wisdom and foresight of the founding fathers who wished it to portray India’s diversity and to be a calibrated restraint on hasty legislation. It has upheld democracy’s sacred creed that discussion, instead of being a stumbling block in the way of action, is, in fact, an indispensable preliminary to wise action.”

He quoted Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: “A democracy is distinguished by the protection it gives to minorities. A democracy is likely to degenerate into tyranny if it does not allow the Opposition groups to criticise fairly, freely and frankly the policies of the Government. But, at the same time, minorities also have their responsibilities. Well, they have every right to criticise, their right to criticise should not degenerate into wilful hampering and obstruction of the work of Parliament. All groups, therefore, have their right and have their responsibilities.”

A PTI report quoted Vice President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu rejecting as “political propaganda” the view that there was a sense of insecurity among minorities. Without naming anyone, Naidu said: “Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due.”

He disagreed with the view that there was growing intolerance, saying Indian society was the most tolerant in the world because of its people and civilisation. There is tolerance, he said, and that is why democracy is so successful. “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,” Naidu said.

The BJP was more direct in criticising Ansari’s remarks on the sense of insecurity among minorities. Condemning the remarks as an “insult to the country”, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayavargiya said the outgoing Vice-President had “damaged the country’s image”.

“He held a constitutional post and was Vice-President of this country for ten years. He says Muslims do not feel safe in this country. It is an insult to this country and its institutions. India has more Muslims than many Muslim countries in the world. He should not have said so,” Vijayavargiya told The Indian Express.

“Under Modi’s leadership, the entire world is looking up to India and the world respects this country and its leadership. His (Ansari’s) remark will damage the country’s image. I condemn it,” he said. “He may be having a political agenda. He may want to come under a particular political umbrella,” he said.

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  1. Ajay Kumar
    Aug 16, 2017 at 11:35 pm
    Hamid MoHamMad Ansari, the loyal cutbulla canine of Italian National Congreess (INC) is showing it's true nature of arabistan cult, to please his italian waitress, Fake Gandhi.
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      1. Sriram Kalpathi
        Aug 12, 2017 at 8:28 am
        It seems to be 'time pass' for all of them. Talking talking and talking ,which is the root cause for inducing people to sleep.
        1. Zakir Husaien
          Aug 12, 2017 at 4:14 am
          Mr Kailash was sleeping. He just awake by some quacks. Now he is playing the role of a Modi bhakt who chose person with 13 criminal case as a CM of UP. We are listening to the chorus you people are making. There are some plan Indians are working to throw you in the garbage dumb.
          1. R
            Aug 12, 2017 at 6:34 am
            Why did you choose Mohammad as your prophet , who is responsible for 13 billion crimes committed by jihadi Islamic armies during the past 14 centuries.
          2. R
            Aug 12, 2017 at 1:14 am
            It is Hindus who are insecure in this country. We have been humiliated, stripped of equal rights and subject to systematic elimination by pseudo-secularist forces and their religious extremist allies. Thanks to Modi, the situation is changing in our favor. We do hope that one day we too will receive equal rights and free of pseudo-secularist threat.
            1. Zakir Husaien
              Aug 12, 2017 at 4:19 am
              What rights you are deprived of to the minorities and dalits? You have the right to choose cow-dung- as your National Edible plz don't force us to that. We love the cow-flesh!
              1. L
                Lucian DSilva
                Sep 25, 2017 at 6:42 pm
                Pl refrain from such comments know such comments are to act upon as an mind ignition hence the commenter's iden y may or may not be as it looks, its a purpose comments to ignite minds of larger section of the public. Such propaganda manners and mechanism has brought the present disasters in various forms, high price, not only denying subsidy charging premium amount on petroleum product, continued dramas etc, costly decision of DeMo and GST etc. Various Bans and now playing Cow cards
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