Outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Wednesday that there was a feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity among the Muslims in the country, asserting the “ambience of acceptance” is now under threat.
Ansari, whose second five-year term as the Vice-President ends on Thursday, made these remarks in the backdrop of incidents of “intolerance” and cow vigilantism.
Stating that he had flagged the issue of “intolerance” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues, Ansari, 80, also described the questioning of citizens over their love for India as a “disturbing thought”.
Asked in an interview on Rajya Sabha TV whether he shared his concerns with the prime minister, Ansari said that he had. “Yes…yes. But what passes between the Vice President and the Prime Minister in the nature of things must remain in the domain of privileged conversation,” Ansari, who is also the Rajya Sabha Chairman, said.
His comments caused huge outrage on social media platforms with many, particularly those belonging to right-wing brigade launching scathing attack against Ansari. While many questioned the timing of his statement, others from the Hindutva groups even asked him to go to Pakistan. However, there were many who felt that the rabid attack by the right-wing users had given credence to Ansari’s statement on Muslims.
For 10yrs my Hindu majority nation accepted you with open arms, placed you at the pinnacle of power & you still feel uneasy? Agenda kya hai? https://t.co/Z8pzWddTG0
— Priti Gandhi (@MrsGandhi) August 9, 2017
— Jas Oberoi | ਜੱਸ ਓਬਰੌਏ (@iJasOberoi) August 9, 2017
Thank God for people like Hamid Ansari who remind us of how dangerous it is to let Congress ever come back to power.
— Divya (@divya_16_) August 10, 2017
The way people abusing Hamid Ansari for his statement proved his entire point.
— Saniya Sayed (@Ssaniya25) August 10, 2017
This is not the first time that Ansari has been targetted by the right-wing groups in India. The outgoing vice president was hounded unfairly for not saluting the tricolour during the Republic Day ceremony even though there’s no constitutional requirement to do so.
In June 2015, BJP’s general secretary Ram Madhav had questioned Hamid Ansari’s integrity. Madhav, in his tweet had questioned why Ansari was absent from the International Yoga Day event at the Rajpath in Delhi. His tweet had prompted a huge twitter backlash with social media users condemning both Madhav, a former RSS spokesperson, as Narendra Modi’s government at the centre for their ‘attempt to communalise’ the office of India’s Vice President.
This had later forced the central government to issue an apology to Ansari.
It seems a Muslim occupying the office of vice president for 10 years did not go down well with the sympathisers of Hindutva ideology thereby making him a soft target of sustained attacks.
Ansari’s latest comments on the growing unease among Muslims were in light with the alarming rise in the murders of Muslims in the name of cow. Dozens of innocent Muslims have been brutally killed by the right-wing terrorists on the suspicion of consuming beef or transporting cows for slaughters.
In July, thousands of people launched #NotInMyName campaign across India and abroad to express their displeasure on the growing incidents of mob lynchings of Muslims in India. This had prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence to condemn the acts of so-called cow-vigilantes.