`Affirmative action needed to address minorities` problems`
New Delhi: Communal tensions appear to have "re-emerged" in the country and the communal fabric is under pressure, Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Tuesday.
Inaugurating the annual conference of State Minorities Commission, he also underlined the need for affirmative action by the state to address the problems of minorities.
"Regrettably, communal tensions appear to have re-emerged in different parts of the country. The conclusion is inescapable that our communal fabric is under pressure," he said.
"There is an enhanced awareness both of the problems of minorities and of imperative need to address them through affirmative action by the state," he said.
The theme for the two-day conference is `Sensitivity of the Majority, Responsibility of the Minorities in Secular India`.
Ansari also raised few "conceptual questions" over the issues related to overall development of minorities.
"Are the terms `majority` and `minority` arithmetical ones depicting a ground reality, or reflective of a state of mind, or both and is there a magic wand to homogenise the two into an undistinguishable whole," he asked.
He also wondered whether the exercise to homogenise the two groups is desirable and what would be the consequences of a failed effort.
The program was also attended by Union Minister of Minority Affairs K Rahman Khan, Minister of State for Minority Affairs Ninong Ering, Chairman of National Minority Commission Wajahat Habibullah and noted jurist Fali S Nariman.
Noting that "homogeneity is essentially a limiting concept", Ansari said, "Diversity in society as in nature is a reality, and that the central challenge is not diversity but the management of diversity."