No relief was provided by Gujarat govt after 2002 Godhra riots: Former Vice President Hamid Ansari  

BJP govt’s push for religious majoritarianism will damage the society, the concept of fraternity and equality and damage the dispensation of justice, former Vice President of India Hamid Ansari said


Ashlin Mathew

In an exclusive interview to National Herald, former Vice President of India Hamid Ansari said the consciousness of duties must be inculcated in our institutions. Our institutions are failing to a certain extent and it is not just our Supreme Court and Parliament, he added.

Ansari reiterated that great many instances of enhanced intolerance can be seen now. There was always intolerance, but quantitatively there has been an increase and qualitatively because there is state support for it. It has worsened the situation for all minorities.

The minorities should get the same treatment as every other citizen. In our country is that there should be equality of treatment. We should read the preamble to the Constitution. It speaks of equality, justice and fraternity. These words speak loud and clear. Justice is the foundation of every society along with fraternity. If you do not treat your fellow citizen as a fellow citizen with equal rights, then you are not doing justice. It is, perhaps, missing in greater measure now,” underscored Ansari.

After the 2002 Godhra riots, the effective relief has not been delivered by the state government. Those affected had to rebuild themselves. There has to be intent, but there was no intent. There has been ghettoisation of Muslims. Godhra is 18 years is behind us and a whole generation has grown up. They have learnt to survive under injustice. The situation has worsened for minorities everywhere.

“All the Love Jihad, Ghar Wapsi and anti-conversion laws are all to divert attention from the real problems of the society – development and poverty,” contended Ansari.

He added that secularism is part of the constitution. If it is not being observed, then we are not implementing part of the Constitution. What the Indian society can do is to treat all religions equally, but some state governments aren’t.

The BJP government’s push for religious majoritarianism will damage the society, damage the concept of fraternity and equality and in consequence damage the dispensation of justice, which is the right of every citizens.

Ansari said there was a procedure to be followed for amending the Constitution in case of the abrogation of Article 370,. “My view is that the process was not followed. Mehbooba Mufti was in an alliance with the current BJP government. They could have done it better.”

On the India-China stand-off, Ansari pointed out that it takes two hands to clap. “I think the governments so far have managed it well. During Manmohan Singh’s government they negotiated it will great diligence. There are certain problems now, but we have to make sure it does not get out of hand. There has been a bit of derailment currently.”

When asked if the law and the rhetoric around the Citizenship Amendment Act impacted our ties with neighbours, Ansari underscored that there have been some misgivings with Bangladesh on the Act, but the debate on that is yet to be settled. “It is yet to be implemented. There are perceptions on it which need to be clarified. The uniting thing is that we are Indian citizens. If the citizenship is being questioned, then I have a right and a duty to protest.”

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines

Published: 03 Feb 2021, 9:02 PM