Vice President Md. Hamid Ansari has once again emphasised on the essence of religious tolerance and plurality in India. Terming that our country’s commitment to the two virtues is self-evident and it is laid in the Constitution, the Vice President of the Union added that those are upheld by courts and no political party proclaims that intolerance is their agenda.
“Our commitment to plurality, to religious tolerance is self evident. It is written down in the Constitutional text as fundamental rights, it has been repeated again and again by the highest courts of the land,” VP Ansari said while interacting with the press pack on board a special flight from Bali.
“And no political party actually says that intolerance is their agenda. Everybody’s agenda is the same, I am talking of proclaimed agenda. If there are shortcomings, for this reason or that reason, that is another matter,” he added.
Saying that nowhere the performance is hundred per cent but the “aspiration” is hundred per cent, Vice President Hamid Ansari said that countries across the world have learnt from India about plurality of society.
Vice President returned from his five day-visit to Indonesia and Brunei late on Thursday night, though his visit to Brunei could not take place due to the closure of Bali international Airport because of the spewing of volcanic ash.
During his visit to Indonesia, the Vice President had held discussions with the leaders of Muslim Civil leaders in Jakarta. Speaking about his interaction with the leaders, he said, apart from other things, the problem of extremism in relation to the religion of Islam was discussed.
“And what I expressed to them was that the public perception mainly emanating out of the western countries, and has been picked up by people elsewhere also, is that somehow the agenda relating to Islam is being set by countries in West Asia,” he told the press pack.
Adding that of all the Muslims in the world, 15 per cent live in Arab countries, VP Hamid Ansari said that large numbers live in Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and if Turkey, Iran, China etc are also counted, they comprise a huge proportion of the population of Muslims in the world.
“And the population of these countries are not committed to an agenda of extremism, either in religion or in political life. So instead of looking at Islamic societies in actual functioning, you look at certain countries in Western Asia, who have more political background and who have their own political problems in contemporary sense, why not look at these countries? Why not look at how Indonesia has managed it, look at how India has managed it?” the Vice President said.
(With inputs from the PTI)