- In an interview to Rajya Sabha TV, the outgoing Vice-President Hamid Ansari bluntly remarked that “a sense of insecurity was creeping in among Muslims because of the vigilantism and intolerance”.
- Instead of allaying Ansari’s fears, the BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, attacked him. by saying that Ansari had spent the last ten years “confined to the Constitution”. Modi seemed to be suggesting that the commitment to secularism that underlay many of Ansari’s speeches as vice president were somehow shallow, and that now, freed from the constraints of office, he could pursue his “core beliefs”.
- The Vice President elect, Venkaiah Naidu, was more direct. He said: “Some people are saying the minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, the minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due”.
- Ironically, both these reactions only reinforced Ansari’s fears. Instead of taking this opportunity to assure the Muslim community that the government would protect them from majoritarian onslaught, the BJP has taken the route of complete denial. By browbeating Ansari, the BJP has only proved his point.
Who ever is reading news papers will agree that Muslims are unsafe in India ever since Modi government issued orders banning cattle sales for slaughtering in the name of cow protection and cow vigilante groups started lynching attacking cattle transporters, mostly Muslims and no action by police or government. The response by Modi and Venkaiah Naidu are irresponsible, indecent, doesn't befit their positions and reconfirms their fears.
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