Sense of insecurity among Muslims, says Ansari as he steps down as VP

NEW DELHI: As he demits office after 10 years as Vice President, Hamid Ansari says there is a feeling of unease and insecurity creeping in among the Muslims in the country amid rising incidents of intolerance and vigilante violence.
Ansari, 80, who has had two terms as Vice President, also says that there is a breakdown of Indian values and the ability of authorities at different levels in different places to be able to enforce what should be normal law enforcing work.
“Over all the very fact that Indianness of any citizen being questioned is a disturbing thought,” he told journalist Karan Thapar in an interview on Rajya Sabha TV, a channel for which he took the initiative as the Chairman of the Upper House.
Ansari talks about various issues including the attacks on Africans in India, the functioning of the Rajya Sabha and his relationship with two Presidents — Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee — and Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi.
He was asked a question on his lecture in the National Law School in Bengaluru where he had spoken about nationalism being practised as intolerance and arrogance and the reactions it had sparked whether the Muslim community was apprehensive and feeling insecure.
Ansari replied: “Yes, it is a correct assessment. From all I hear from different quarters, the country. I heard the same thing in Bengaluru, I have heard from other parts of the country, I hear more about in north India. There is a feeling of unease, a sense of insecurity is creeping in.”
Asked if Muslims were beginning to feel they are not wanted, he said: “I would not go that far. (But) there is a sense of insecurity.”
He had a word of advice for the Muslim community: it has to move with the times and live with the requirements of the occasion.
“Do not create for one self or one’s fellow beings an imaginary situation which is centuries back, when things were very different. I mean the whole idea was that what are the challenges today… The challenges today are challenges of development, what are the requirements for development; you keep up with the times, educate yourself, and compete…”
On the controversy over Triple Talaq, he said the practice was a social aberration and not a religious requirement. — IANS