30 July, 2021

What Truly Is To Be Done?

Hamid Ansari dares to point at the noisome rot: intolerance and illiberal discourse. The solution is to heed Ambedkar and safeguard India’s constitutional values.

Photograph by Jitender Gupta
What Truly Is To Be Done?

The former vice president, Hamid Ansari, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi represent the two ideas of India that are today in existential competition, the outcome of which will shape the national polity for decades to come.

As Ansari prepared to relinquish office, he voiced the feelings of several million Indian citizens when he spoke of the “enh­­anced apprehension of insecurity” among the country’s minorities and of “a sense of unease creeping in” among Mus­lims. The prime minister dismissively explained Ansari’s views as resulting from his long diplomatic career in Mus­lim countries and his subsequent association with minority issues, referring to his tenure in the Minorities Commission.

This book compiles some of Ansari’s last public pronouncements as vice-presid­ent, at the heart of which is his unders­t­anding of India’s history and culture, whose values are enshrined in the Con­s­t­itution. These are: promotion of har­­m­ony, preservation of India’s...

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