Mohammad Hamid Ansari

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Mohammad Hamid Ansari
मोहम्मद हामिद अंसारी
محمد حامد انصاری
Hamid ansari.jpg
14th Vice President of India
Incumbent
Assumed office
11 August 2007
President Pratibha Patil
Pranab Mukherjee
Preceded by Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
Personal details
Born (1937-04-01) 1 April 1937 (age 77)
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now Kolkata, West Bengal, India)
Nationality Indian
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Salma Ansari
Alma mater University of Calcutta
Aligarh Muslim University
Religion Islam

Mohammad Hamid Ansari (About this sound pronunciation ) (Hindi: मोहम्मद हामिद अंसारी)(born 1 April 1937) is the 14th and current Vice President of India, in office since 2007. After Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Ansari is the only person to get elected for the post of Vice President of India at two consecutive terms. He also presently serves as President of the Indian Institute of Public Administration and Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Ansari worked as an ambassador and served as Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University from 2000 to 2002.[1] Later he was Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities[1] from 2006 to 2007. He was elected as Vice President of India on 10 August 2007 and took office on 11 August 2007. He was re-elected on 7 August 2012 and was sworn-in by Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India. The oath taking ceremony was conducted at Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 11, 2012.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Ansari was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal, India on 1 April 1937 though his family belongs to Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh. He is the grand nephew of former Congress President Mukhtar Ahmad Ansari, a leader of the Indian independence movement. Ansari studied at St. Edward's School, Shimla, the St. Xavier's College of the University of Calcutta and obtained BA degree and then M.A. in Political Science at the Aligarh Muslim University He started his career as Officer in the Indian Foreign Service in 1961. He was Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Indian High Commissioner to Australia and Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia. He was awarded the Padma Shree in 1984.[3] He was also Professor & Vice-Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University from May 2000 to March 2002. He is known for his role in ensuring compensation to the victims of the Gujarat riots and pushing for a complete re-look into the relief and rehabilitation for riot victims since 1984.[4]

Other activities and NCM[edit]

Ansari is a West Asia scholar and has written on the Palestinian issue and taken positions inconvenient to the Indian official line on Iraq and Iran. He questioned India’s vote in the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran’s nuclear programme where India voted against Iran. He said that though the Indian Government claimed to have acted on "its own judgment," this was not borne out by facts.[5]

Ansari was the chairman of a working group on "Confidence building measures across segments of society in the State," established by the Second round Table Conference of the Prime Minister on Jammu and Kashmir in 2006. The report of the working group was adopted by the Third round Table in April 2007. Among other things, the report advocates recognising the right of Kashmiri Pandits to return to “places of their original residence.” This right, it argued, should be recognised without any ambiguity and made a part of state policy.[5]

Ansari became the chairman of India's National Commission for Minorities (NCM) on 6 March 2006.[6] In June 2007, Ansari, in his capacity as NCM chairman, upheld the decision of India's premier educational institution, St. Stephens College, to earmark a small percentage of seats for Dalit Christians.[7] Ansari resigned as NCM chairman soon after his nomination for the post of India's Vice President.

Ansari is the author of the book Traveling Through Conflict. He edited a book titled Iran Today: Twenty – five Years after the Islamic Revolution (ISBN 81-291-0774-0).

2007 vice-presidential election[edit]

On 20 July 2007, Ansari was named by the UPA-Left, the ruling coalition in India, as its candidate for the post of Vice President for the upcoming election. When asked, Ansari said he felt "humbled" over the UPA-Left decision naming him as their candidate. "I am humbled by the confidence reposed in me". Ansari refused to say more when asked about his prospects in the August 2007 vice Presidential election.[8]

Ansari secured 455 votes, and won the election by a margin of 233 votes against his nearest rival Najma Heptullah.

2012 vice-presidential election[edit]

The NDA nominated Jaswant Singh, former Finance, External Affairs and Defence minister as well as former Leader of Opposition.[9] The NDA cited Ansari's conduct in the Rajya Sabha during the The Lokpal Bill, 2011 debate when he had abruptly adjourned the House sine die.[10]

Hamid Ansari was reelected as Vice President for the second term on 7 August 2012, defeating the NDA's nominee Jaswant Singh by a margin of 252 votes.[11] For the first time, both the President (Pranab Mukherjee) and the vice President (Incumbent) were born in West Bengal.

Quotes[edit]

  • "The language used by the Pope sounds like that of his 12th-Century counterpart who ordered the crusades... It surprises me because the Vatican has a very comprehensive relationship with the Muslim world." – 15 September 2006, as Chairman of the Minorities Commission of India, on the Pope Benedict XVI Islam controversy.[12]
  • "No citizen is apolitical; as a citizen, by definition, has to take interest in public affairs.” – 10 August 2007, after being elected Vice-President, on being asked whether he is apolitical.[13][14]
  • "There is no shame in acknowledging the faults and the lacunae that exist in the policies and institutions pertaining to Human Rights." -26 September 2013, addressing the First Convocation of Central University of Bihar.[15]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
Vice President of India
2007–present
Incumbent
Academic offices
Preceded by
Mahmoodur Rahman
Vice-Chancellor of AMU
2000-2002
Succeeded by
Naseem Ahmad