Former Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari, reportedly criticised India’s democracy on Wednesday, as the country celebrated its 73rd Republic Day, Economic Times reported.
Ansari’s comments have now drawn flak from Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who has hit out at the former Vice President over his “cultural nationalism” remarks, media reports said.
While participating in a virtual panel discussion organised by the Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Ansari expressed concern regarding the rise of Hindu nationalism, saying: “In recent years, we have experienced the emergence of trends and practices that dispute the well-established principle of civic nationalism and interpose a new and imaginary practice of cultural nationalism,” as per the ET report.
Naqvi has now hit out at former Vice President Ansari over the latter’s “cultural nationalism” remarks he made while addressing the IAMC event.
Naqvi said the event attended by Hamid Ansari on Republic Day was organised by a group that had a “link with SIMI [Students’ Islamic Movement of India] and ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence]” of the Pakistan Army, India Today reported.
“In recent years, we 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.
“It seeks to present an electoral majority in the guise of a religious majority and monopolise political power. It wants to distinguish citizens on the basis of their faith, give vent to intolerance, insinuate otherness, and promote disquiet and insecurity…some of its recent manifestations are chilling,” Ansari was quoted as saying in an IAMC press release, India Today reported.
ABP News also reported that Naqvi has slammed former Ansari for criticising India’s democracy. In response to Ansari’s statement, Naqvi stated that the “Craze for Prime Minister Narendra Modi bashing is evolving into a conspiracy for India bashing”.
IANS had reported on Thursday morning that Ansari and actress Swara Bhasker participated in an event organised by IAMC on Republic Day, an organisation which tried to get India blacklisted by the US, as per a DisinfoLab report.
“In the interest of accuracy… which it seems news agencies in India don’t care about at all… I have not spoken at this event. @ians_india @IANSKhabar unfortunate to note that you do not fact check poop india gossip,” Swara Bhasker had tweeted thereafter.
The IANS story was based on a Disinfolab report which was quoted and is available in the public domain. The story never said that Swara Bhasker spoke at the event, it only said that she had participated in it along with Ansari.
As for Ansari, the videos of the event and him speaking there have now gone viral, which only vindicates the IANS story.