Mufti Shamoon Qasmi was not a famous name among Indian Muslims or in Media till just sometimes ago. But just after his expulsion from Anna Team he seems to have become a much sought after personality. He claims that he resigned from Anna team on his own due to their communal anti-Muslim bias, while Anna team says that he was expelled as he was involving in leaking the proceedings of an important meeting of the group. AN Shibli of NVONews.Com talked to him his claims and Team Anna’s counter claims. Excerpts:
Is it right that the whole Anna Team is anti Muslim?
Answer: They are not only anti Muslim but they are even anti democracy. I always said that if you want to do major changes in the country you should include people of all religions in this movement. But they always suppressed my voice. Their main agenda is that they want to establish their supremacy and that is why they are playing the game in the name of anti corruption movement. As far as Muslims are concerned the Muslim have played important role in every field of life in the country. Thousands of Muslims have scarified their lives in freedom struggle. Why they are not being given any important responsibility in this movement? I was the only Muslim in the team of Anna but they never gave me a chance to speak to media or say anything from their platform.
If they are anti Muslims and anti Democracy why you were with them for so long?
When they started the Movement there were nothing wrong with them but on some occasions I noticed that they are doing all these things for their own sake. First I tried to change them but when I noticed that they are not giving me any importance I decided to give up their company. They always tried to put me behind the scene and didn’t give me any chance to come in the front. Manish Sisodia and Arvind Kejriwal always tried their best to push me behind so I could not come in limelight. It is right that on the pretence of this recording episode I left the team but the fact is that I had already decided that if they do not change their strategy I will leave the team and will tell the country what their hidden agenda is. Team Anna is abusing parliamentarians. How you can abuse a person who is in Parliament because people have sent them there.
Who is honest in the team Anna?
Answer: Nobody except Anna Hazare in Team Anna is honest. But unfortunately Anna has no guts to say what he wants. Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi are playing the key role in the team. Other members have no power to say anything. Even Anna doesn’t have courage to say anything against them. I was the only person who was nominated by Anna Hazare all the other members of the teams are very close to Arvind Kejriwal and others. All these people are involving in different non government organizations and with the help of this movement, they are actually getting benefits for these NGOs. All are very shrewd. They all are expert in their own field so they know how to save themselves from any legal problem.
If you were recording the meeting, what is wrong in this?
First thing is that I was recording nothing there and the second thing is that if I was recording the meeting there what is wrong in it? Team Anna says that everything should be open but they don’t want to show the country what they were doing in the meeting. I am feeling very sorry that I could not record the meeting if I could do it, then the country could see the actual face of team Anna. When the country will know what they were doing in the meeting the people of this country will throw stone at them.
What will be your next step?
Now as I have left the infamous team Anna I am working to start a national anti corruption movement. I am the vice president of International Peace Foundation and we will start the anti corruption movement under its banner. For that I have already started to consult noted personalities of different religions. When it will take final shape we will start the movement and in this movement everybody will have to speak what he thinks. It will not behave like Anna team where only certain people have power to say anything or talk to media. In Anna team even Anna has no courage to take decision by own he depends on Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan.
What about Shazia Ilmi? Will she be the next Muslim face in team Anna?
Though Anna Hazare doesn’t like Shazia Ilmi but the other members want to include her in the team. Though she is not in the core team but she was present in the core committee meeting. Even Anna had protested against her presence in the meeting but Arvind Kejriwal and his notorious team gave her the permission to stay there. In my opinion a lady who can not even manages her house, how she will manage this big movement.
There is blame on you that you were not in favor to include any Muslim face in Anna Team because you were feeling insecure there?
No, this is not true. Many Muslims were coming to meet Anna because of me. I always asked team Anna to include more Muslims in the movement but they refused and never heard me. I was there because of my talent then why I will feel myself as insecure.