Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday took a not-so-veiled dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi by making a rather poetic statement.”Dynasty and democracy can’t go together. Dynasty is nasty but tasty to some people,” ANI quoted Naidu as saying. The Vice-President of India was quick to add: “(I am) not speaking about a party or person.”
Naidu’s remark comes merely four days after Rahul’s speech at the University of California, Berkeley, in which he (rather nervously) shared his point of view about dynastic politics when asked a question on that issue.
To assume that Naidu’s sudden remarks on dynastic politics were not related to “a party or a person” days after a remark made by a prominent leader of one of the most prominent parties opposing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be highly naive.We also wonder which “people” find dynasty “tasty” if Naidu was not talking about a specific person.
Naidu’s statement is also important because several top leaders of the BJP like Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah and Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani had lashed out at Rahul over his UC Berkeley speech.
Even though the vice-president is not supposed to side with or against any political party, we have seen politically charged statements coming from Naidu and his predecessor Hamid Ansari quite frequently.
On 10 August, just a day before he was sworn-in as vice-president, Naidu had rejected as “political propaganda“ the view that there is a sense of insecurity among minorities in the country, apparently a rejoinder to the then outgoing Vice-President Hamid Ansari.
Though Naidu did not name anyone, his comments were seen as a response to Ansari’s remarks in a TV interview that there was an unease and a sense of insecurity among Muslims in the country, and that “ambience of acceptance” is under threat.
Ansari’s remarks had come against the backdrop of incidents of alleged intolerance and violence by self-proclaimed cow protectors, for which opposition parties have attacked the central government.
“Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due,” Naidu had told PTI.
He had also disagreed with the view that there is growing intolerance, saying Indian society is the most tolerant in the world because of its people and civilisation.