Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 | Last Update : 12:47 AM IST
He also criticised the imposition of hyper-nationalism on the masses.
New Delhi: Outgoing vice-president Hamid Ansari said that India was becoming an “intolerant society”. “Breakdown of Indian values, breakdown of the ability of the authorities at different levels in different places to be able to enforce what should be normal law enforcing work and overall the very fact that the Indianness of any citizen is being questioned is a disturbing thought,” he said.
In a 52-minute interview to a television channel, covering a range of subjects, he also said this propensity to be able to assert your nationalism day in and day out was unnecessary.
He was speaking on the issues of cow vigilante attacks, mob lynchings and people not shouting “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” being told to leave the country.
He added that India had been a plural society for centuries, not for seventy years, and that it had a certain ambience of acceptance “which is under threat”.
The vice-president told the television channel that he raised the concerns of growing intolerance in the country with the Prime Minister and other ministers, also. On being asked about their response, he said, “Well, there is always an explanation and there is always a reason. Now it is a matter of judgment, whether you accept the explanation, the reasoning and the rationale.”
He also criticised the imposition of hyper-nationalism on the masses. “This propensity to be able to assert your nationalism day in and day out is unnecessary. I am an Indian and that is it,” he added.
On being asked about the apprehensions in the Muslim community, the vice-president agreed and said, “I have heard about it in other parts of the country, I hear more about it in north India that there is a feeling of unease, a sense of insecurity creeping in. There is a sense of insecurity.”
He also expressed concern on the growing violence in Jammu and Kashmir. “Well, when young boys and girls come out on to the streets and throw stones day after day, week after week, month after month, it’s something to worry about because they are our children, they are our citizens. Something is obviously going wrong. What exactly, I am not the final word on it, but I think there are enough people in the country who are worried about it. Eminent people belonging to different political persuasions and their worries must be taken on board,” Mr Ansari said.
The vice-president, however, decided not to comment on the difference between the leaderships of Dr Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi. “The functioning styles are very different. Now, you may find common points in their functioning styles. Personalities are obvious to everyone, I don’t have to talk about it,” he said.