Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday identified “religious majoritarianism” and “cultural nationalism” promoted by “a section” as “key challenges” confronting the country.
“The operative principle for this is ‘national-civic’ rather than ‘national-ethnic’ though a segment of opinion today would want to modulate or amend it and espouse instead an Indian version of ‘cultural nationalism’ premised on ‘religious majoritarianism’,’’ he said in K Subrahmanyam memorial lecture. “This would be in contrast to the hitherto accepted philosophy of liberal nationalism that ‘celebrates the particularity of culture together with the universality of human rights, the social and cultural embeddedness of individuals together with their personal autonomy.’’
Ansari said that threats emanating from regional and social imbalances have given rise to and fuel insurgencies, terrorism, sub-nationalism and communalism in India and they must be dealt with appropriate policy initiatives. “Seven decades after independence there is widespread unrest, discontent and conflicts among sections of population,’’ he said. “Economic disparities have created social tensions, urban unrest, rural upsurge and youth disenchantment.’’
He added that problems of deprivation, unemployment, poverty, hunger and food shortage, have given rise to anger and crime.