Christian Community welcomes Prof. Hamid Ansari’s choice as Vice President of India

By Pervez Bari,

Bhopal : The Christian Community has welcomed Prof. Hamid Ansari's choice as Vice President of India

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"We are delighted at the ruling United Progressive Alliance and the Left parties' nominating Prof. Hamid Ansari, currently chairperson of the National Minorities Commission, as their candidate to be Vice President of India. Given the political arithmetic, his election as Vice President of India soon is a foregone conclusion".

Dr. John Dayal, Secretary General: All India Christian Council, in a statement said the Christian community recognises Prof. Ansari as a friend, particularly a friend in need, a great secular and humane person, and an activist in the Civil liberties and human rights movement.

"I have personally known Prof. Ansari from earlier in his career as a diplomat where he set high standards of professionalism, personal credibility and integrity, and displayed his deep roots in Indian culture and its tradition of secularism which dates back to Kabir and the Sufi movement", Dr. Dayal, who is also Member: National Integration Council, Government of India, said.

Prof. Ansari, born in Calcutta in 1937, an alumnus of St. Edwards High School, Shimla, and St. Xavier's College, Calcutta, he was in the Indian Foreign Service from 1961, serving as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia, High Commissioner to Australia and New Delhi's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He was awarded Padma Shree in 1984.

"Since his days as Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, and particularly since his becoming Chairman of the National Minorities Commission, we have had his support, solidarity, perhaps even love and affection, for our community in its days of sore trial and tribulation during incidents of persecution and communal violence", Dr. Dayal stated in the statement issued on behalf of the All India Catholic Union, the All India Christian Council and the United Christian Forum.

"We may miss his able hand and regret that possibly he did not have enough time to take the National Minorities Commission an instrument of pro-active and affirmative action in the cause of secularism and religious freedom and equity, we are happy that as Vice President, Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha and occupying the second highest Constitutional position in the democratic, secular republic of India, he will bring his tremendous capacities bear on issues of secularism and for a united and strong India", Dr. Dayal hoped .

"We are sure he will make an able deputy to President-elect Mrs. Pratibha Patil. Our prayers are with them both.God bless them. God bless India", the statement added. ([email protected])