PM leads tributes in Rajya Sabha as Vice-President Hamid Ansari bids farewell

Cheryl Sanders
August 10, 2017

"Unfortunately, some people are trying to blow it out of proportion and trying to defame India, raising it to national forum", he said adding that the country "is the best model of secularism". A democracy is likely to degenerate into tyranny if it does not allow the opposition groups to criticise fairly, freely and frankly the policies of the government.

Leader of Opposition, Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "You've been running sessions with diplomacy".

Further during his speech, Ansari compared the position of the chairman with an umpire or a referee and said, "The chair is like an umpire in Cricket or referee in Hockey, witnessing the play without becoming a player".

The Minister fondly recalled how once, angry over disruptions, Ansari called the House a "federation of anarchists" and how it triggered a debate on whether the term anarchist could be used for the House.

Modi said Ansari was leaving behind "great memories" and his "contributions have been important". He rues that in earlier times the Chief of Protocol was always seen in the photographs with prime minister, however, now it has changed.

Ansari also said that as the vice president, he had raised his apprehensions over the growing culture of intolerance in India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ansari told the truth, considered Congress speaker Pratap Singh Bajwade, who extended the problem to other minorities such as Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists. And then rather than take an offence to it, some of us - and I was one of the culprits in that - we wanted the chair to set up a precedent of expunging its own remarks. "As you are leaving, the only regret I have is that we are still not settled". We wish you good health and good luck for future.

"I had the opportunity to travel overseas with you where I saw a different dimension of you - your magnanimity, tolerance and humility".

Hamid Ansari while delivering his last speech in the house said that "a decade is a long time in the life of an individual".

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