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Tablighi Jamaat and its dreadful fallout

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer

Coronavirus positive cases increased manifold in different states of India. In Telangana state where the government thought that it has almost bid adieu to the virus, now have 97 and Andhra Pradesh reported 21 fresh cases in a single day (31st March). These are all fresh positive cases recorded in a single day, in the two states and all of them (patients of COVID) have attended the Tablighi meet in Nizamuddin Markaz, Delhi or are relatives of those who have returned. Similar is the position of other coronavirus infected in other states of India. 

When the country-India, has been somewhat smooth sailing, compared to European nations and US, this sudden calamitous spread of covid happened because of the #tablighijamat meet. Most of the attendees, knew about the coronavirus and its impact on the world nations. Yet, took the risk of attending in droves, sitting side by side, they participated in all proceedings of the congregation. 

The Liberals in India lament that the contagion of the coronavirus in various parts of India, is communal ised and the Muslim minority community is blamed. They cite the BJP president’s son’s recent marriage where many guests were present including the PM and no one questioned it. In the same way, Kanika Kapoor’s episode and the fear of Corona contact. In those two, none could point out or gauze Corona propagation. Specially, in the former, they would have taken adequate care as the hosts and guests of the marriage were distinguished citizens. Whereas, sermons of Maulana Saad, chief of Tabligh Jamaat, his exhortations to Muslims to gather in mosques, though knowing fully well the sensitivity Corona propagation, are  unpardonable. 

Sagarika Ghosh tweeted on 31st March: ‘Those calling for arrest of #TablighiJamat must also call for the arrest of Kanika Kapoor, her VIP hosts, all Madhya Pradesh MLAs holding meetings when #COVID outbreak reported. Also of 700MPs of both houses who attended Parl when there shd’ve been social distancing #Lockdown21

Being a Rhodes scholar, how could she be so ridiculous in her reasoning? Has she vowed to fight for the Tablighis congregation that sent shockwaves in India-Corona fight? Kanika Kapoor, no doubt, was punished by the slap of an FIR. Moreover, to her luck, no one from among the VIPs that came to her bash was proved to be a Corona positive. MLAs of M.P and Parliamentarians had not (at least for now) seemed to have spread the virus. If any #TablighiJamat-kind happened with them, people would construe them as culprits. To hold the Parliament at the time of crisis (outbreak of Coronavirus) was a gutsy action. It boosted  the morale of people. Like cowards, the MPs cannot wind up the session. They wanted to conduct it, at the risk of their lives, to address the people’s problems. 

Along with Sagarika Ghosh, Rajdeep Sardesai and Barka Dutt have  been pleading the people to toe their line and not communalise the issue of #tablighijamat. It’s a communal issue in people’s mind, in the sense, it’s held by a rabid  Muslim Organisation that is for propagation of their religion. As India being a liberal democracy, the country allowed it with clerics from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Of course, there was some lapse in checking them at airport or quarantining them for 14 days. Had some Hindu priests gone to Pakistan or Bangladesh, if similar congregation and similar virus propagation done, would it be communal or not to them? Anyway, that’s all hypocritical. Those countries would never allow any other religious congregation to take place other than theirs. Here, in India, Shahid Siddiqui says: since Yogi Adityanath wanted to hold Shri Ramnavami celebrations,  the Tablighis got emboldened to go ahead with theirs! This is a bizarre justification. 

Most of the Indian Muslims are ghettoised. They are like cogs fitted in their community network and lead a structured life which their ancestors had lived in Saudi Arabia. Hygiene is not at the top of their agenda. For body-bath: Jumme pe Jumma (once only in a week, ie on Fridays, as ordained by the prophet Muhammad (due to scarcity of water in Saudi in those days). Whereas, Hindus keep their body and house clean by a daily wash. Personal hygiene is part of their culture. Another thing, Polygamy of Muslim men and keeping two-three wives and their children in pigeonholed houses (with only curtains apart), is another unhygienic practice. Their leaders protest if any Bill for Uniform Civil Code is tabled. Those who attended #tablighijamat were hard core Muslims. Their laxity of hygiene is part of the problem for the spread of virus. In this scenario, Liberal plea to see #tablighijamat beyond religion falls on deaf ears. 

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G Indira
G Indira
Author of the book: The India I Know and of Hinduism. Ex-Publications in -charge Pragna Bharati Organisation, Hyderabad. Academician and free-lancer
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