Hamid Ansari
Hamid Ansari

Substantive democracy as Ambedkar visualized is elusive: Hamid Ansari

ANI | Updated: Nov 24, 2018 19:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 24 (ANI): Former vice president Hamid Ansari on Saturday said electoral democracy on the FPTP (first-past-the-post) pattern is a reality but substantive democracy, as Dr BR Ambedkar visualized it, is elusive.
Delivering the valedictory address at Pranab Mukherjee Foundation-CRRID Seminar here on Saturday, Ansari said: "Physical unity has been achieved but emotional integration remains work in progress with serious challenges on the periphery and in the least attended segment so four people. Similarly, electoral democracy on the FPTP pattern is a reality but substantive democracy, as Ambedkar visualized it, is elusive."
Ansari also stated that the need of the hour is to move beyond rhetoric and ritual commitments to promotion in practice of fraternity. "The need also is to go beyond mere tolerance to the actual acceptance of the so-called 'other'. Anything short of that would be sophistry," he added.
The former Vice President further said that "we have to admit that self-correctives by the institutions of the state are not forthcoming in sufficient measure since each of them has been afflicted by cancerous growth within."
Speaking further in the seminar, which was part of the conclave on 'Violence Free Transition to Transformation,' Ansari said: "The end result is that the de jure "We, the people" in the first line of the Preamble is, in reality, a fragmented 'we' divided by yawning gaps that remain to be bridged."
Ansari opined that fraternity is the bulwark against two pervasive evils in our society-caste prejudice and religious intolerance.
"Both (caste prejudice and religious intolerance) have deep roots in social practice and are sought to be reinforced by doctrines of assimilation and inclusive aimed at diluting and erasing the diversity of our society. These harmful homogenizing ventures and the social prejudices engineered through them result in exclusion and alienation and in creating images to the Other. They have induced a crisis of fraternity that we ignore at our peril," he noted.
"If the socio-economic transformation is attempted devoid of these three principles, resistance including violent resistance would be unavoidable. Constitutional imperatives, prudent statecrafts, and practical common sense demand that these be the litmus test of every agenda of change," concluded. (ANI)