V-P elect Naidu snaps at outgoing VP; BJP rubs it in

Minorities’ insecurity a “political propaganda”
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Agencies
NEW DELHI
10 Aug 2017

Vice President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu today rejected as "political propaganda" the view that there is a sense of insecurity among minorities in the country, apparently a rejoinder to outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari. Though Naidu did not name anyone, his comments are seen as a response to Ansari's remarks in a TV interview that there was unease and a sense of insecurity among Muslims in the country, and that "ambience of acceptance" is now under threat.   "Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due," Naidu said. He also disagreed with the view that there is growing intolerance, saying Indian society is the most tolerant in the world because of its people and civilisation. There is tolerance that is why democracy is so successful, he said. The former BJP president also cautioned against creating divide in the nation by singling out one community, saying it will draw adverse reaction from other communities. "If you single out one community, other communities will take it otherwise. That is why we say all are equal. Appeasement for none justice for all," the 68-year-leader and former Union minister said. He said history has proved that there is no discrimination against minorities. "They (minorities) got in prominent positions including constitutional responsibilities because there is no discrimination, and also on account of their merit," he said. Noting that India's uniqueness is its unity in diversity, he said 'sarva dharm sadbhav' and secularism is in the mind and blood of India. "India is secular not because of political leaders but because of its people and civilisation," he said.  Ansari's remarks come against the backdrop of incidents of alleged intolerance and violence by self-proclaimed cow protectors, for which opposition parties have attacked the central government. Asked about incidents of alleged intolerance, Naidu said India is a huge country and there could be some "stray" occurrences, which are "nothing but aberrations". Meanwhile, the BJP today criticised outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari for his comment that there was a sense of insecurity among Muslims and said such a "petty" remark was not expected from someone in his position. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya also wondered if Ansari was looking for "political shelter" after retirement. "I condemn his comments. He has made political comments as he is retiring. He is still a vice president and such comments do not suit his office's dignity. It seems he is making such comments to find political shelter after retirement," Vijayvargiya said.