New Delhi: Outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari on Wednesday said there is a feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity among the Muslims in the country.
Ansari, who demits office after 10 years as Vice President on Thursday, claimed that he had flagged the issue of intolerance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers.
The outgoing VP asserted the "ambience of acceptance" is now under threat amid rising incidents of intolerance and vigilante violence.
Ansari made the statements while giving an interview to Rajya Sabha TV.
When asked to elaborate on his discussions with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet ministers, Ansari said, "Well, there is always an explanation and there is always a reason. Now it is a matter of judgement, whether you accept the explanation, you accept the reasoning and its rationale."
Ansari, 80, also said that there is a breakdown of Indian values and the ability of authorities at different levels in different places to be able to enforce what should be normal law enforcing work.
While referring to the incidents of lynching and 'ghar wapsi' and killings of rationalists, the outgoing VP said, "Over all the very fact that Indianness of any citizen being questioned is a disturbing thought."
To a poser on the on the issue of triple talaq, Ansari said the practice was a social aberration and not a religious requirement.
Asked if the courts should step in, he said: "You don't have to. The reform has to come from within the community."
Asked about the fact that even the Supreme Court has ruled that the National Anthem should be played before film screenings and some other courts giving similar directions, Ansari said: "The courts are a part of society. So what the courts tend to say sometimes is reflective of the prevailing atmosphere. I call that a sense of insecurity... This propensity to be able to assert your nationalism day in and day out is unnecessary. I am an Indian and that is it."
When asked to comment on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the former diplomat said, "the problem has always been primarily a political problem. And it has to be addressed politically."
Ansari will demit office today and veteran BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu will take over.
Naidu, who had humble origins in an agriculturist family in Andhra Pradesh, was on August 5 elected as the Vice of President of India. He defeated the combined opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi by a huge margin of 272 votes in a straight contest.