Ansari demitted the office of Vice President (2007-2017) and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha on August 10. As per tradition, leaders of political parties and members devoted the forenoon session to thank the Chair.
Former Vice President of India Hamid Ansari has expressed displeasure over the remarks made by PM Narendra Modi in his farewell address last year. As per Ansari, many considered Modi’s remarks to be a departure from accepted practices on such occasions.
Ansari demitted the office of Vice President (2007-2017) and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha on August 10. As per tradition, leaders of political parties and members devoted the forenoon session to thank the Chair. In his book, ‘Dare I Question’, Ansari writes, “The Prime Minister participated in this and while being fulsome in his complements also hinted at what he perceived to be a certain inclination in my approach on account of my having spent, as he put it, both a good part of my professional tenure as a diplomat in Muslim lands and in post-retirement period on minority-related questions.”
Hinting that Modi was referring to his comment about insecurity among Muslims. Ansari writes, “The context, presumably, was my reference in the Bengaluru speech to what I perceived as ‘enhanced apprehension of insecurity’ and in the TV interview to ‘a sense of unease creeping in’ among Muslims and some other religious minorities.”
Ansari, before demitting his office, had pointed out that Muslims in the country were experiencing a “feeling of unease” in a TV Interview. “The subsequent furore by the ‘faithful’ on social media tended to lend credence to this,” he writes, adding that editorial comments and a ‘good many’ serious writings considered the Modi’s remarks to be a departure from accepted practice on such occasions
The two-time vice-president further says that widely accepted pluralist view of nationalism and Indianness is now being challenged by a viewpoint depicting “purifying exclusivism” through the idea of “cultural nationalism”.
Ansari has expressed his views in details in his new book “Dare I Question? Reflections on Contemporary Challenges”. The book is a collection of Ansari’s speeches and writings, made mostly in his last year in office and some in recent months, and brought out by Har-Anand Publications.