ALI SUKHANVER -
Extremism particularly religious extremism is a poison which simply murders life. Unfortunately there are some unlucky ones who try to give everything a religious coloring even the Covid-19. Secular in nature and temperament are all pandemics, epidemics and all calamities; they never spare anyone on the basis of religion. If someone thinks, he is a Muslim and the virus of Covid-19 would not attack him, he is living in fool’s paradise. Same is the case with Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and people following other religious philosophies. This pandemic would remain at arm’s length only from those who have a strong immunity system. But unfortunately some of our friends in BJP are not willing to accept this reality. They are holding the Muslims and the ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ responsible for spread of Covid-19 virus in India. They are of the opinion that the Tablighi Jamaat held a large convention in mid-March in the south Delhi. The convention was attended by about 8,000 people, including hundreds of foreigners. Some of the participants, allegedly, had the virus in them which was shifted to others participants also. When the participants went back to their homes the virus also travelled with them. It is a very interesting fact that the convention was organized after getting proper permission from the government. Now making that convention the ‘bone of contention’, the BJP extremists have made the lives of the Muslims hell in India.
There have been reports that gangs of BJP extremists are doing violent attacks on Muslim majority areas blaming that the Muslims are the carriers of the Corona virus. These extremists are pressurizing the Muslim hawkers to stop selling their goods in the streets. In most of the villages where Muslims are in minority, young BJP workers have been posted at the entry points so that they could stop any Muslim from entering the village. In short the spread of Corona pandemic has been linked with the Muslims in India. The Aljazeera recently published an article of Apoorvanand on 18th April 2020. That article also pointed towards the same injustice done to the Muslims in India. The article says, ‘The outbreak of COVID-19 in India has presented yet another opportunity to launch a fresh attack on the Muslim community. Physical, verbal and psychological warfare is being waged against Muslims, pushing further their ostracisation in Indian society.’ Chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission Dr Zafar-ul-Islam Khan said expressing his serious concerns over maltreatment with the Muslims in India, “The whole focus is being directed only on Muslims. In the past few days, we have noted a new wave of attacks on Muslims across the country. There is talk of social boycott of Muslims, harassment of Muslims by Hindutva groups and Muslims are even being harassed by police in various areas.”
The question arises; does Corona virus really belong to some particular religion? If it is the Tablighi Jamaat or the Muslims who are the only source of spreading this virus in India then what about Spain, Italy, USA and UK. Could we hold responsible the same Tablighi Jamaat or the Muslims for spreading this virus in those countries too? We see that in period of one month from 21st March 2020 to 21st April 2020, the total number of deaths because of Covid-19 in India was 603 and the confirmed cases during the same period were 18985. Whereas in US during one months period total number of confirmed cases was 800,932 and total number of deaths was 43,006. While doing any analysis of Corona disaster it must also be kept in mind that the total population of US is 328.2 million with 3.45 million Muslims whereas the total population of India is 1.353 billion with 201 million Muslims. The loss US is bearing cannot be compared with the loss India is bearing; there is a hell of difference but the US never claimed and blamed that the Muslims are responsible for such a severe loss.
It is simply the prejudice and narrow-mindedness of the Hindu extremists that they are holding the Muslims responsible for the worsening situation with reference to Covid-19. If this scenario remains the same, things would surely become more horrible for the Muslims in India. The most condemnable role in this entire context has been that of the BJP leaders. Instead of advising people to remain united, they are spreading venomous hatred against the Muslims. A recent tweet of a local BJP leader Kapil Mishra is the worst example of this hatred. He said, “Tablighi Jamaat people have begun spitting on the doctors and other health workers. It’s clear, their aim is to infect as many people as possible with corona virus and kill them. They are ‘human bombs’ in the guise of corona virus patients. They must be both hanged and shot.” Exploitation of a natural calamity in such a cruel way is the ever-worst example of selfishness. Another important fact is that BJP has deprived Corona of its secularity. This world doesn’t need extremism particularly religious extremism. People following different religious philosophies are like fingers in a hand; those who try to label these fingers with different religious identities are enemies of humanity. From Hinduism to Islam, no religion preaches hatred based extremism. It is the need of time that all followers of all religions must step forward together with a flag of unity in their hands.