Why didn't Anna take us along, asks Bukhari
New Delhi: Contending that communalism was a
bigger a threat to India than corruption, Syed Ahmed Bukhari,
Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid today asked Anna Hazare why he and
his campaign managers did not do more to involve Muslims in
their anti-graft movement.
At a time when Hazare's campaign has caught the
imagination of the country, Bukhari said the Gandhian needed
to learn more from the Mahatma on how to spin all sections of
the society together in a mass movement.
Bukhari said while he very much believed that corruption
needs to be weeded out of the country, it was equally
important to tackle communalism by addressing the problems of
"He could at least have met some members or leaders of the
minority community and offered to rub a balm on our wounds. He
could have also made references against communalism as part of
his campaign to make it look more inclusive," Bukhari said recalling how some days earlier Hazare had praised
The Imam also pointed out that slogans of 'Vande Mataram'
and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', that were a staple of Anna's
campaign, did not make Muslims any comfortable.
"Why not raise more inclusive slogans like Hindustan
Zindabad or Jai Hind," he asked, complaining that there was no
effort on part of the campaign leaders to involve the
community into their fold.
"When Gandhi took up a cause, he made sure he included in
it grievances of every Indian constituency, only then did his
campaigns take up the shape of an unassailable national
movements," he said.