Every Indian citizen has the “right to live” as is provided by the “Constitution” and it is the responsibility of everyone “to protect their neighbours”, Vice-President Hamid Ansari said Thursday.
“Constitution of India is like a religious book for everyone. It provides the right to live, Also the government should protect this right. It is also our responsibility to protect our neighbours,” Ansari said.
He was addressing a conference on national integration organised by Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Agarwal in Hardoi. Though Ansari did not mention any incident, his remarks come days after two lynchings in Uttar Pradesh —- the first in Kanpur where an unidentified Muslim man was beaten to death on suspicions of being a Pakistani terrorist and the second in Dadri area of Gautam Budh Nagar where one person was killed by a mob following a rumour that he had stored beef in his house.
“If we do not treat our brothers like brothers and sisters like sisters, we are not fulfilling our duty. Every Indian has right to live. This national integration was taught to us by our ancestors. But sadly there is some lapse else, there was no need for organising a conference like this on national integration,” Ansari said.
He said, India can develop only when there is national integration. “But, the big question is, do our hearts meet? The hearts will meet only when views and opinions meet. Then only we can move together,” he added.
Governor Ram Naik, who also attended the conference, cited the example of Swami Vivekanand’s principle of “Vasudhev Kutumbukum (all the world is family)”. “Country cannot progress unless there is unity. The feeling of ‘mera-tera’ (mine and yours) should not be there. There is danger to our unity which is a challenge for us,” Naik said.
While both Ansari and Naik did not take any names, Agarwal admitted: “Incidents like that in Noida and Muzaffarnagar are a blot for us. We are living in a period where riots erupt when two cycles collide or two dogs fight”.
UP Minister Awadhesh Prasad was the only other leader from the Samajwadi Party to attend the function.