Former Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Tuesday that a “very dangerous” process was underway in India, as the country’s institutions were under “great threat” and the principles on which the Constitution’s Preamble was drafted were being “thrown out”, PTI reported. Ansari said Indians are living in very difficult times, and it was important to act now because if this continues, it would be “too late to wake up”.

“There is a great deal of sophistry involved in the process so most citizens are slow in picking it up,” the former vice president said at the launch of economist Bhalchandra Mungekar’s book My Encounters in Parliament in Delhi in the presence of Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Communist Party of India General Secretary D Raja and Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury.

Ansari said India’s friends abroad are alarmed by the situation, while the country’s enemies are “delighted”. He said Mungekar’s book shows the people that they are being misled, and if this process was allowed to continue, it would be too late to wake up.

The Centre has been criticised for nominating former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi to the Rajya Sabha. Gogoi said on Tuesday that his presence in Parliament will “be an opportunity to project the views of the judiciary before the legislative and vice versa”. President Ram Nath Kovind had nominated Gogoi to the Upper House on Monday.

The Opposition and the government’s critics have, among other things, also accused it of inflaming communal tensions through incendiary remarks made by its ministers, passing a non-secular law like the Citizenship Amendment Act and abrogating the special status of Jammu and Kashmir without consulting the people of the erstwhile state, or its political leadership.