Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised outgoing Vice-President and chairman of Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari on Thursday in the Upper House. In a statement in Rajya Sabha, PM Modi said, “P Hamid Ansari ji leaves with great memories, his contribution has been important. You have been a career diplomat, what it means I got to know when I became PM, observing you I saw mannerisms of career diplomat.” “Your diplomatic insights were invaluable, especially when I discussed with you before and after my bilateral visits,” added PM Modi.
Today, Hamid Ansari completes exactly two terms in office, the latter part managing the Upper House that was often in conflict with the government. Ansari has also served as India’s ambassador to several countries, was India’s Permanent Representative to the UN and also vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.
Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview to the Indian Express, the outgoing chairman of the Rajya Sabha spoke at length about the idea of India and how this notion is a matter of debate. In the interview, Ansari said: “India is secure. But the ‘idea of India’ is a matter of very considerable debate. To my mind the idea of India which was crafted (is) one that is multi-layered, which accommodates a great deal of diversity. So one can’t say that there is this one ‘idea of india’, there are multiple ‘ideas of India’ and they all fit into each other. Sanguine? The ‘idea’ is being challenged with a certain frequency which makes me uncomfortable.” Also Read: PM’s slogan impeccable — Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas; but then sabka saath means sabka saath, says Hamid Ansari
Commenting on institutional checks and balances in a democracy, Hamid Ansari said ‘one basic principle of democratic governance is accountability of those entrusted with responsibility of government’. He goes on to say: “In the formal sense, the structure is there, in the practical sense, less so. Let me explain. What is the job of an elected legislature? Lawmaking, holding government accountable and discussing matters of public concern. Each of these functions needs time.”