Govt stayed mum on anti-Muslim hate speeches: Former VP

New Delhi, June 12 (KMS): Former vice-president Hamid Ansari has said that it is not fair to claim that those who made derogatory comments about Prophet Mohammad (SAW) were “lightweight” and underlined the government had been mum when anti-minority and anti-Muslim hate speeches were made at various ‘Dharm Sansads’.

Hamid Ansari in an interview to BBC Hindi also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the matter was “very meaningful” and not accidental.

Asked about Qatar and other countries’ reaction to the controversial remarks, he said it is not fair to say that those who gave these statements about the Prophet were “lightweight” as they were functionaries of the ruling party.

“But what is important is that this is not just about one statement. In the last few months, many statements of this nature have been made. In various Dharm Sansads, anti-minority and anti-Muslim hate speeches were given,” he deplored.

“The words may be different, but the government was completely mum and if any action was taken it was very late with no meaning,” he said. It’s not sudden, it was building up for some time and the government was tolerating it because there is a policy, Ansari claimed.

On whether India should apologize, the former vice president said, “I don’t think the Government of India should apologise because in diplomacy there are many mechanisms to deal with differences amongst the countries.”

Asked why the prime minister or the foreign minister was silent, he said, “The prime minister, home minister and foreign minister are the people who are expected to speak. But they all are silent.”

PM Modi has excellent relationships with the heads of all the Gulf countries but his silence is very meaningful, it’s not accidental, he claimed.

“It can be interpreted in two ways. Firstly, it can be said the prime minister does not disapprove of what has been said by the BJP spokesperson or it can also be said that he approves of what has been said,” the former vice-president said.