Indianness of citizens being questioned disturbing, says Hamid Ansari

Frederick Owens
August 10, 2017

The interview emerged on a day dedicated to farewell speeches in his honour in the Rajya Sabha, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "We have learnt a lot from you".

The former Union minister who has also served as the BJP president, said India is the "best model of secularism". "Now it is a matter of judgement, whether you accept the explanation, you accept the reasoning and its rationale". He is still a vice president and such comments do not suit his office's dignity.

He said the second largest population of minorities, including Christians, Muslims and Dalits feel under constant threat of being persecuted.

On being asked what was his response he said, "Well, there is always an explanation and there is always a reason".

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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 is unnecessary. I am an Indian and that is it", he told Rajya Sabha TV.On Thursday, Ansari demits an office that only S Radhakrishnan had occupied as long: "10 years.

Responding to a question on comments made by some BJP leaders related to minorities, he said he would not talk about political people or political parties.

"I condemn his comments".

Hamid Ansari said the courts do not have to step in as the reform has to come from within the community. "The chair is just an umpire in cricket and its only source of reference is the Rule Book", said Ansari in his parting shot as he recited Urdu couplets and bid adieu amid a standing ovation from all members. "And it has to be addressed politically". "People try to use minority issues for political purposes". While stating that such a "petty" remark was not expected from someone in Ansari's position, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya wondered if the outgoing V-P was looking for "political shelter" after retirement.

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