Outgoing vice president Hamid Ansari said there was a feeling of unease among the Muslims in the country as a result of the rise in incidents of intolerance and vigilantism. Ansari demits the office on Thursday after occupying it for two consecutive terms.

In his last interview as the vice president, Ansari said a sense of insecurity was “creeping in” and that the ambience of acceptance was under threat in the country.

“[The] breakdown of Indian values, breakdown of the ability of the authorities at different levels in different places...and overall the very fact of the Indianness of any citizen being questioned is a disturbing thought,” he said, according to the transcript of a yet-to-be-aired interview with journalist Karan Thapar for Rajya Sabha TV.

He said the need to assert your nationalism all the time was unnecessary. “I am an Indian and that is it,” he said.

Ansari also said that as the vice president, he had raised his apprehensions over the growing culture of intolerance in India with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “But what passes between the vice president and the prime minister in the nature of things must remain in the domain of privileged conversation,” he said.

Commenting on the matter of triple talaq, Ansari said it was a “social aberration” and not a requirement as per the religion. “The religious requirement is crystal clear, emphatic, there are no two views about it but patriarchy, social customs has all crept into it to create a situation which is highly undesirable,” he added.