New Delhi: Vice President Hamid Ansari on Monday demanded "affirmative action" to address problems of identity and security confronting Muslims in line with Modi government's official objective of 'sabka sath, sabka vikas'.
He also stressed that "default by the State or its agents in terms of deprivation, exclusion and discrimination (including failure to provide security) has to be corrected by the State at the earliest and appropriate instruments developed for it".
Speaking at the golden jubilee celebration of the All India Majlis-E-Mushawarat, an apex forum of Muslim organisations, Ansari said the challenge was also to develop strategies and methodologies to address the issues confronting the Muslims such as empowerment, getting equitable share in states wealth and fair share in decision making process.
"The official objective of 'sabka sath, sabka vikas' is commendable. A pre-requisite for this is affirmative action to ensure a common starting point and an ability in all to walk at the required pace.
"This ability has to be developed through individual, social and governmental initiatives that fructify on the ground. Programmes have been made in abundance. The need of the hour is their implementation," Ansari said.
Observing that the imperative of social peace is political sagacity, the Vice President said the Indian experience of a large Muslim minority living in secular polity should even be a model for others to emulate.
The community comprise 14 per cent of the country's population.
Referring to Kundu report, commissioned to review the implementation of the Sachar Committee report on welfare of Muslim community, he said the report, given in September last year, has asserted that "development for the Muslim minority must be built on a bed-rock of a sense of security".
Turning his attention to the community, he said major sections of it remained trapped in a vicious circle, and in a "culturally defensive posture that hinders self advancement .... Modernity is a tainted expression".
And in this context, he said the role of Mushawarat becomes critical which should go beyond looking at questions of identity and dignity in a defencive mode and explore how both can be furthered in a changing India and world.
This effort has to be made in the context of Indian conditions and the uniqueness of its three dimensions such as plural, secular and democratic, he added.