Former RSS spokesperson and currently a senior adviser to Indian prime minister Rajendera Modi, Ram Madhav, has accused Indian vice-President Shri Hamid Ansari, 78, of refusing to attend the so-called International Yoga Day celebration on June 21, 2015. Modi was the chief guest at the celebration event in New Delhi.
On Monday, Indian opposition parties lead by Congress party accused the ruling party of anti-Muslim agenda, and demanded an apology from Modi and BJP president Amit Shah over BJP national secretary Madhav’s anti-Ansari tweet.
According to Shri Mohammed Hamid Ansari’s office, he was not even invited to the function. Modi’s ruling party BJP in a statement has apologized to Ansari over Ram Madhav’s Hindutva rant.
BJP had opposed the re-election of Hamid Ansari as vice-president of Hindu-majority India in 2012. He was first elected in 2007. Dr. Ansari is an academic and not a politician. He has served as Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University in the past. Under Indian Constitution, the vice-presidency is a ceremonial PR, and has no executive powers.
Modi’s BJP and his other Hindutva supporters admire Israel for their common hatred towards Muslims.
Subhash Gatade, an Indian author and human rights activist, posted an article, entitled Hey Ram! Madhav on this latest Hindu-Fascism on June 22, 2015.
“We know that this is not for the first time that the honorable Vice President has been targeted in such a lowly manner and a campaign of calumny and insinuation has been launched against him. During President Obama’s visit also a similar controversy was raked up by the same elements when national anthem was being played during Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath. A photo of the program was widely shared on social media wherein the President of India was seen to be saluting the national flag whereas Vice President Hamid Ansari and many other dignitaries were seen merely standing,” says Gatade.
“Why didn’t Hamid Ansari salute the national flag? This question seemed to be top most on the minds of the self-proclaimed defenders of patriotism then. In fact, home minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj didn’t salute the flag either, but as expected their patriotism was not questioned. Many hate tweets were hurled at the Vice President then ranging from “Jihadi sympathizer”, “anti-India”, “traitor”, few of them even demanded that he be impeached also. Looking at the raked up controversy the Vice President’s office had to issue a press release then which underlined what is the protocol in such case. It said that when the national anthem is played, the Principal Dignitary and persons in uniform take the salute. Those in civil dress stand in attention. During the Republic Day Parade, the President of India, as Supreme Commander, takes the salute. As per protocol, the Vice President is required to stand in attention,” explains Gatade.