Former Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s statement about the ‘rise of Hindu nationalism’ in India drew a sharp rebuke from numerous parties, as well as the ruling BJP. On the occasion of 73rd Republic Day, the former VP participated in a congressional briefing organized by the Indian American Muslim Council on the topic (IAMC) ‘Protecting India’s Pluralist Constitution’.
Ansari said at the event that in the recent years, Indian citizens have experienced the emergence of trends and practices that dispute the well-established principle of civic nationalism and interposes a new and imaginary practice of cultural nationalism. He went on to say that the new trends want to distinguish citizens on the basis of their faith, give vent to intolerance, insinuate otherness, and promote disquiet and insecurity. Hindu nationalism is a matter of concern and people are being divided into religious lines in the country. Controversy is being created among people regarding nationality, he said. These trends need to be contested legally and politically, Ansari asserted, emphasizing the need of taking action against these human rights violations.
Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Law and Justice, strongly criticized the former Vice President’s views and countered his controversial statement on the atmosphere of intolerance and insecurity for Muslims in the country, stating that communal riots and violence were frequent before 2014, but India is now more peaceful. The Law and Justice Minister further stated that minorities in any of India’s surrounding nations prefer to seek refuge in India because it is safe. He advised people to be grateful to our great nation.
Sudhindra Bhadoria, the national spokesman for the Bahujan Samaj Party, also voiced dissatisfaction with Ansari’s problematic ‘Hindu Nationalism’ declaration, claiming that the people of India believe in ‘Sarvadharma Sambhav.’ Some individuals or organizations do not represent the whole country, Bhadoria told sources. He asserted that Hamid Ansari should clarify what he intends to express by stating such a thing near vital assembly elections. The BSP spokesperson went on to add that having held such an important Constitutional post as the country’s Vice President, Ansari should also read the history of the nation and see that the people here believe in the idea of ‘Sarvadharma Sambhav’ for thousands of years.
In a more recent dig, Hamid Ansari was criticized by Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra on Friday, who said that as the Uttar Pradesh polls near, the followers of the ‘Tukde Tukde’ Gang are being exposed. He further said that Ansari, who was made Vice President twice by the country, has shown his petty mentality by saying anti-national things on the online global platform. He then accused Digvijay Singh, Salman Khurshid, Rashid Alvi of leaving no stone unturned to talk anti-national things or defame the nation.