New Delhi, August 10: Vice President elect Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said that India was the most tolerant country in the world. On a day when outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari spoke about ‘unease among minorities’ in his last interview and farewell speech, Naidu said that mutual respect for each other was all that Indian ethos was all about. “Agenda of politics should be development. India is the most tolerant country in the world. Indian ethos is of mutual respect for each other. People try to use minority issues for political purposes,” Naidu said as quoted by news agency ANI.

He also added that India is the best model of secularism. “We have different languages, different cultures in our country, yet we are one. Unity in diversity is the essence of India,” Naidu said. The VP elect also said, “Unfortunately, now in politics 3 Cs have entered – Cash, Caste and Community. We must return to 4 Cs – Character, Caliber, Capacity and Conduct.”

Naidu’s comments came after Hamid Ansari’s last interview as Vice President and his farewell speech in Rajya Sabha where he raked up the issue of freedom of speech and minorities. Ansari said that there was “a feeling of insecurity” and “a sense of unease” among the Muslims in the country.

In an interview with noted journalist Karan Thapar for Rajya Sabha TV, Hamid Ansari, referring to the incidents of mob lynchings, and beef bans, said that these incidents attribute to a “breakdown of Indian values, breakdown of the ability of the authorities at different levels in different places to be able to enforce what should be normal law enforcing work and overall, the very fact that Indianness of any citizen being questioned is a disturbing thought.”

“This propensity to be able to assert your nationalism day in and day out is unnecessary. I am an Indian and that is it,” he added.

During his farewell speech in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Ansari said, “As Dr. Radhakrishnan said ‘a democracy is distinguished by the protection it gives to minorities,” he said. He added that democracy was likely to degenerate into tyranny “if it doesn’t allow opposition groups to criticise fairly, freely and frankly policies of Government.”