Former Vice President, Hamid Ansari, in his farewell speech to Rajya Sabha and in his interview to the Rajya Sabha TV expressed his views about the current state of affairs of the country and problems being faced by Muslim community and some concerns were put forth by him which had the BJP and Sangh Parivar in a tizzy and a fusillade of criticism was launched against him. No one was surprised as it is their wont to target anyone who finds faults with the government, but it was a matter of bewilderment when Prime Minister Narendra Modi thought it fit to react indirectly to Ansari’s views which were correct to a T reflecting ground reality. In his exceptionally balanced farewell speech, he simply quoted former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan about a perfect democracy. The quote is, “a democracy is distinguished by the protection it gives to minorities, but at the same time minorities also have their responsibilities.” The quote without naming the former President was repeated by him to indirectly remind the government that the matter of giving protection to minorities was of prime importance. In his interview to the Rajya Sabha TV, Hamid Ansari only responded to the queries made by Karan Thapar and thus the subject was not chosen by him. However, Karan Thapar chose questions related to minorities and the ambience of intolerance prevailing in the country. Hamid Ansari was honest, free and frank to respond to the queries.
Karan Thapar said hardly any day passed when we did not come across the incident in which the cow vigilantes beat, thrash or kill the people blaming that they were carrying cattle to slaughter houses. He wanted to know the reaction of Hamid Ansari. He reacted that Indian values were being trampled down at different levels and the law enforcement agencies felt helpless to take action against the guilty. He said it was a matter of anguish that citizens were being asked to prove that they are Indians. This was the mostmild response to the question put to him. He was asked to react to the feelings of some people that the country was getting intolerant. Hamid Ansari said people of different walks of life met him and they also expressed such sentiments and therefore Muslims were harbouring the sense of insecurity. This was also the most balanced response. Here only two questions have been given. (neither the questions nor their responses are verbatim ). The first and foremost reaction to the views of Hamid Ansari was from M Venkaiah Naidu who was to take oath as the new Vice President. He said it was political propaganda to say that Muslims were habouring a sense of insecurity in India. In an extreme reaction, a Sangh Parivar leader said Ansari had emerged as a new Avatar of Mohammad Ali Jinah. Prime Minister’s reference was soft , but indirectly pointed. He praised the distinguished family background of Hamid Ansari and its association with the Congress. His career as a diplomat in the Middle East countries. His appointment to minorities commission and then to AligarhMuslim University. The Prime Minister wanted to stress that Hamid Ansari had always been associated with the minorities problems. He said after retirement Hamid Ansari was free to express his views on the subjects he liked. It was an indirect comment of the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister should have considered the contents of his views and whether his observation was based on reality. The Prime Minister blissfully forgot that after his coming to power, he invited the US President Barrack Obama as the chief guest for the Independence Day celebrations. While returning home, the President said intolerance was on the rise in India. That was the case when Prime Minister hardly ruled the country for four months. From day one, the Sangh Parivar, its affiliates and the BJP leaders started vitiating communal atmosphere in the country. Since then innumerable incidents of lynching of innocent people by the cow vigilantes occurred and hardly few cases were booked. Should Hamid Ansari have forgotten these and other bloody incidents to appease the Prime Minister, BJP and Sangh Parivar?