Vice-President-elect M. Venkaiah Naidu on August 10, 2017 rejected as “political propaganda” the view that there is a sense of insecurity among minorities in the country, apparently rebutting Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s remarks.
Though Naidu did not name anyone, his comments are seen as a response to Ansari’s remarks in a TV interview that there is unease and a sense of insecurity among Muslims in the country, and that “ambience of acceptance” is now under threat. “Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due,” Naidu told PTI.
He disagreed with the view that there is growing intolerance, saying Indian society is the most tolerant in the world because of its people and civilisation. There is tolerance and that is why democracy is so successful, he said.
The former BJP president also cautioned against creating divide in the nation by singling out one community, saying it will draw adverse reaction from others. “If you single out one community, other communities will take it otherwise. That is why we say all are equal. Appeasement of none, justice for all,” the 68-year-old leader and former Union Minister said.
He said history had proved that there was no discrimination against minorities. “They [minorities] got in prominent positions, including constitutional responsibilities, because there is no discrimination, and also on account of their merit,” he said.
Noting that India’s uniqueness is its unity in diversity, he said sarva dharm sadbhav and secularism is in the mind and blood of India. “India is secular not because of political leaders but because of its people and civilisation.”
Ansari’s remarks came in the backdrop of incidents of alleged intolerance and violence by self-proclaimed cow protectors over which the Opposition has attacked the Centre.
Asked about incidents of alleged intolerance, Naidu said India is a huge country and there could be some “stray” occurrences, which are “nothing but aberrations”. He, however, added that “nobody can justify attacks on fellow citizens on the basis of community”. Such incidents should be condemned and action should be taken by appropriate authorities.
Naidu said that some people blow out of proportion such incidents for political considerations. Some go to the extent of “defaming” the county by raising such issues at international forum. Some do it to create rift between communities and derive political mileage, he said, adding that the basic problem arose due to vote bank politics and due to treating a community as vote bank.
He said his advice to politicians is not to drag communities into politics. PTI