Professor of Islamic Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, Prof Akhtarul Wasey has been regularly contributing to various Urdu publications. In conversation with Hardnews
Sadiq Naqvi Delhi

Why didn't Muslims come out openly in favour of Anna Hazare's Jan Lokpal campaign?
Corruption is a secular issue that affects everyone. But if the movement has been hijacked by the RSS, then how can Muslims support it, knowing fully what the RSS and its affiliates stand for? Moreover, corruption is not the only issue in this country. Communalism is a bigger issue for the Muslims. Why didn't Anna Hazare speak out against Modi's doings in Gujarat? It is easy for people to talk of rights, but they start stammering as soon as the issues of Muslims come up. Also, why is the India Against Corruption team silent on its funding? And did they try to talk to Muslims and take them into confidence before going ahead with the campaign? Muslims have bigger issues to deal with than just corruption.

Where do you think is the campaign headed?
Basically Anna wants to tinker with the secular democratic system of this country – the outcome of a long and continuing struggle. How can he be allowed to do that? He is doing it because he has no stakes in this system. How can he talk of bringing all the institutions, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, which hang on fine checks and balances, under the one monolithic institution of a Lokpal?

Are you sure that this was a Rightwing campaign?
By now, we know where and how this whole campaign was born, where it was thought through, and also who were the people. The campaign was fully funded by the corporates and BJP. Why was Anna silent on BJP's corruption? And why is their draft not including the corporates and the NGOs? All the main actors in the campaign – Hazare, Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi – have their own NGOs. Haven't we seen in the past, and in the 2G scam, how corporates were hand-in-glove in corrupt activities?

What if BJP projects Modi as its prime ministerial candidate?
Modi's elevation to the country's top job will undeniably have a negative effect on Muslims. All Muslims are aware of his gimmicks. He won the 2002 elections in Gujarat post the genocide, but don't forget that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance lost the elections in 2004 and again in 2009. Even voters from the majority community won't support him. We live in a country that did not accept LK Advani as candidate for the prime minister's post. 

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: OCTOBER 2011