Almost a year back, Indian media left no stone unturned to malign the Muslims when over 3,000 of them, including some foreigners, attended the Tablighi Jamaat with due permission from the government, assembled at the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi.
All kinds of libels, starting from corona bomb, corona jihad to BIO terror and jihads, were used for these congregated crowds.
Tablighi Jamaat And The Government’s Blame Game
The number of people who participated in this jamaat was not more than 3,500, and the number of COVID-19 cases in India was still in the three-digit figures. There was no declaration of any health emergency while the procession was happening.
Although they flouted many of the rules that had been imposed by then by the Delhi government, the vindictive propaganda run by a certain section of the media and the BJP leaders to vilify the entire Muslim community based on the action of a few successfully shifted the blame to a community from the government which, indeed, had failed to contain the spread of the virus.
How About The Kumbh Mela?
A year into the pandemic, India, which was so sure to have surpassed the second wave is now in the midst of it, making new records of coronavirus cases every single day. But interestingly, nobody cares anymore about it in India as it seems.
Otherwise, how would one explain the gathering of more than 3 million people in the Maha Kumbh Mela, which is considered to be one of the largest religious events in the world?
The government’s changed attitude regarding the organization of the Mela also has to do with the prevalent majoritarianism in the country.
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Since it is a Hindu festival and it is a Hindu supremacist government at the state and the center, there should be no surprise when the chief minister of Uttarakhand asserts that no one should be stopped from attending the festival and that God will help us overcome the pandemic.
However, it seems that God is in no mood to rescue us from this disaster as over 1,000 attendees have already tested positive, and there is no indication that the numbers would go down anytime soon.
Although the government is trying its best to put up a facade of people following the rules and officials reprimanding those who are not abiding by it, the testimonies of any of the police officers posted there would reveal the dilemma.
In an interaction with Reuters, police personnel, Sanjay Gunjyal disclosed that it is very challenging for them to regulate the crowd in the busiest of the ghats, making it impossible to penalize people in crowded areas.
Furthermore, the decision to continue with the Mela despite the rising COVID-19 cases simply shows how much faith the government has in our religion.
So, if someone says that it is absurd for us to compare Tablighi Jamaat and the Kumbh Mela, that person is right.
Here the government is itself promoting an event that is going to have serious consequences for the future of the country and one doesn’t need expertise to understand that.
It just needs a clearer conscience to recognize that it is not an isolated event. Prioritizing religion over humanity has been the motto of our country for the last few years now, particularly if that helps to fill the vote bank.
Nevertheless, the situation of the country is worrisome and no amount of appreciation from WHO is going to change that. Therefore, instead of disobeying the norms, abiding by the safety protocol is the only sensible thing to do amid this health emergency.
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