Landscape size, diversity affect solution-finding: Ansari
Vice President M. Hamid Ansari has said that the size and diversity of the Indian landscape adds to the difficulty of finding solutions.
"A population of 1.25 billion dispersed over 4,635 communities 78 percent of whom are not only linguistic and cultural but social categories. The human diversities are both hierarchical and spatial," Ansari said.
"'The de jure WE, the sovereign people is in reality a fragmented 'we', divided by yawning gaps that remain to be bridged'," he said.
"Around 30 per cent of our people live below the official poverty line and the health and education indicators, for the population as a whole, despite recent correctives, leave much to be desired," he said.
Delivering the Annual Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture on 'Physical Integration and Emotional Inconsonance' organized by All India Radio (AIR) here, he said that there are, in addition, problems arising out of Naxalism and insurgency in some areas where the writ of the State runs in name only, demands for a better deal for the States of the Union, as also for tribes, dalits and most of the minorities within them.
Each of these also relates to the requirements of fraternity and the achievement of national integration, he said.
He said that hard issues agitating the public mind in different regions have come to the fore and seek acceptable solutions.
The Vice President opined that one obvious reason for this is the ripening and deepening of the democratic process in the country, the awareness generated by it, and the terms and shape of the dialogue propelled by it.
"Another is the failure of the State to comprehend the dimensions of change and the resultant failure to respond appropriately, without undue procrastination, and adapt existing mechanisms to newer requirements," said Ansari.
"As a result, the immediate has taken precedence over the remote; the obvious over the less obvious.
"There has been a shift of focus, perhaps a narrowing of the vision, with the national receding behind the regional or local. This is also evident in the domain of foreign policy where complex questions of national interest are involved and should not be impinged upon by transitory considerations," he said.
He suggested that a beginning can, and must, be made with the loadstar of our national destiny, the Constitution.
"Experience shows that its provisions have been used creatively to expand the area of rights, to redress grievances, to allow greater space for federal units in specific areas.
"The need of the hour is to reinvigorate this process, to explore and make better use of existing constitutional provisions; above all, to ensure better delivery. Prescriptions of despair, unwise or impracticable, do not help the process," he said.