The Veep speaks. In his upcoming memoir “By Many a Happy Accident: Recollections of a Life” former Vice President Hamid Ansari throws light on his relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In what is likely to spark controversy, he claims that Modi at his tense farewell, tried to pigeon-hole his diplomatic career being limited to Muslim countries.
The relationship between the former vice president Hamid Ansari and the new BJP government was not warm. And Ansari, has broken his silence. In the excerpts released by Ansari writes about his rather tense farewell in 2017. Prime Minister Narendra Modi “while fulsome in his compliments was somehow selective in his reference to my work’’. The references that were alluded to his career, Ansari claims were to “pigeon-hole” his postings to his religion, according to the excerpt.
Ansari writes that Modi did not mention his stint in the UN—“at a critical’’ time—as he “sought to be pigeon-holed in the atmosphere thought process, debates amidst such people’ (meaning Muslim countries) where I was assigned..” “You will have a feeling of freedom and you will get an opportunity to work, think and talk according to your ideology’’ The tilt in overlooking my work elsewhere as a representative of India and particularly in the UN in a critical period as fairly evident” he reveals in his book. Referring to Modi’s remarks his farewell Ansari writes that Modi’s the reference to “your ideology’’—Modi had said “can hardly be attributed to poor staff work’’.
The book hits stands on Thursday. Ansari accuses Prime Minister Modi of painting in and his work in religious light. He writes that Modi’s “seemingly laudatory remarks’’ had an “intended message.” It was no secret that Ansari and the new government did not see eye to eye and this played out in the Rajya Sabha proceedings which witnessed stormy scenes.
Earlier this month, Rupa Publication released the last instalment of former President Pranab Mukherjee. Like Ansari, Mukherjee too, had been witness to the new government—but unlike him had good working relationship with Modi. While Ansari wrote “Dare I Question’’ in 2018—which hinted at his growing concerns about the functioning of institutions—a savvy diplomat, Ansari had chosen his words carefully. His new book, however, to hit the stands tomorrow seems to be different.