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Thursday, 5 January 2012

Muslim and Catholic groups question secular credentials and tactics of the Anna Hazare movement

Indian Express


Minority groups question secular credentials

Mumbai : A day after Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal met Muslim community leaders here seeking their support and trying to dispel the impression of the movement’s “RSS links”, Muslim and Catholic groups questioned their secular credentials and tactics.

While the Catholic Secular Forum slammed Anna Hazare’s decision to protest outside the residences of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, the Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra said that while they were also against corruption, the activist’s ways were “like Hitler”.

Gulzar Azmi, general secretary of the Jamiat, said Hazare was undermining the authority of Parliament. “We do not support the movement and feel that the Bill should be debated in Parliament and then passed... No one should dictate terms,” said Azmi.

He also questioned the threat to protest outside houses of leaders who do not agree with them.

“These are tactics Adolf Hitler used... Team Anna is forgetting that they got Parliament to debate a Bill which was in the pipeline for more than four decades. It is now time to step back and let Parliament function,” said the Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra leader.

A few members of the community who met Kejriwal too said they had not committed to support the movement. “All we did was speak to him about certain issues,” said Farid Shaikh, president of the Bombay Aman Committee.

Catholic Secular Forum general secretary Joseph Dias said Hazare must clarify allegations that he backed Hindutva and questioned his decision to protest outside Sonia and Rahul’s houses.

“The Congress alone cannot be blamed for corruption. Why doesn’t Anna speak out against Narendra Modi, B S Yeddyurappa, the BJP...? He has not demonstrated against attacks on minorities,” said Dias.

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