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Fight against COVID-19 or war against Muslims?

Journalism for sale

Journalism for sale

By Yaqoob Murtaza

In the time of crisis, where whole world is fighting with covid-19, it seems that India is more focused on other things. It is fighting with its citizens particularly it is a kind of state of war against Muslims. In fact other states are in the state of emergency because of this global Pandemic but India is in the state of emergency for its very citizens itself. Where corona itself was communalized and Muslims are allegedly being targeted for spreading this virus and continues to be targeted on many illogical grounds.

During this long period of lockdown, we have seen and still are seeing that communal elements are on its continuous rise. Hate speech against Muslims is not going to be stopped anyhow. The root of Islamophobia is becoming stronger and seems that to be a Muslim is a crime in India or at least this particular word is sufficient proof to slap criminal charges for offenses not done by him. Further more in this bizarre situation, it seems that all are against Muslims and no one is for them.

Let us examine this very fact from those incidents happened during lockdown.

The first incident was the issue of Tablighi Jamat where people gathered at Delhi Markaz for religious congregation days before the lockdown has been imposed across the country. Meanwhile the lockdown has been imposed and though the social distancing was one of the most important means to fight Covid-19 as per the official notice of government. But they gathered because of their deep religious belief in God. So it may be called recklessness but there was no intention to spread Corona Virus. But this was coloured in communal identities. The CM and Deputy CM have shown their eagerness and wished that Delhi police would register FIR against members of Tablighi Jamat including Maulana Saad. Exactly the FIR was registered against them. They were quarantined but still even after more than one and half months, they were not being released. Is it justified? Is it not against the laws? Is it not against the provision of right to equality before law? And lastly whether it is not an action of targeting particular community or group?

Another facet of same CM is that he did not show his eagerness to register FIR against those Media channels which spread hate and communal speeches and contents. Additionally more than 36 corona positive cases have been found in Zee News employees. No FIR has been registered against those for spreading corona virus. Ironically this time the CM Arvind Kejriwal did not wish to say a single word to register FIR. Is it not the misuse of “right to equality before law? Is it not his double standard politics? Is it not his favour for someone else and his disfavour against someone else? Why CM and Deputy CM are silent this time, they should speak as they have spoken in the matter of Tablighi Jamat.

Another point is that if social distancing was much important in the matter of Tablighi jamat then why it was not so in the matter of liquor shops?  It was seen that the people were standing in queues without maintain social distancing. Whether the FIR has also been lodged against them?

Another incident is the matter of Jamia students and others.This is the matter of utmost concern. In this lockdown where all activities have been stopped at once, the Delhi police are targeting those students of Jamia who led CAA & NRC protests or participated in those. The Delhi Police have slapped various serious charges on students of Jamia. They were booked under UAPA and serious allegations have been imposed on them and ultimately they were arrested by Delhi Police. Meeran Haider, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha,  Shifa Ur  Rehman are few of them. Is it not the target to arrest the vocal and active Muslim students? Is it not an action to stop raising voice of Muslim community for their rights? It is not a kind of excessive restriction on the freedom of speech and expression? Is it not the brutality of Delhi Police? The answer would be yes. It is a target of Muslim students so that they can’t not enjoy their fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression; they can’t raise their voice against violence, discrimination, injustice, inequality, oppression and against exploitation of their rights. To target every voice against the government is unconstitutional.

Another communal incident happened in the month of April. This was inhumane and shameful act. The incident was that a hospital in Meerut (UP) refused to admit Muslim patients without Covid-19. An FIR has been lodged against the hospital and then it apologized for its inhumane treatment and misbehaviour. Now the question is whether it reflects what the idea of India exactly is? Whether human life is no more important? Whether the patient should be treated on communal lines? Whether the patient is a means for politics? Does it represent the diversity of India? Is it not hate against Muslims? Doesn’t it amount to the discrimination? And finally what does then humanity mean? A reasonable man can under the real fact of the incident.

Moving forward, we should examine another incident and think many times about the consequences. The matter is related to a lawyer named Deepak Bundele who was beaten up by police in Madhya Pradesh. The police have allegedly attempted to get him to withdraw his complaint. The police reasoned that “We thought you were Muslim”. This was misunderstood only because of his long beard. The Lawyer argued them that whether you will beat Muslims without any reason? They replied that even Muslims know that they are being targeted and police support Hindus whenever matter comes. The statement and the replies of police both are showing that the Muslims are vehemently being targeted by police and the govt.

All are for one that is to target only Muslims in order to make them socially, politically, educationally and economically weak. Hate and discrimination are increasing day by day in India against Muslims. They are living in the state of fear. Their life is under threat or has no value. Additionally their identity has become a matter of threat. To wear Topi, Kurta Paejama and having beard has become a signfor others to declare Muslims as anti-national and Gaddar and for them too it became a threat for their lives.

The govt is not taking it seriously and it is not giving severe punishment to the culprits. Now in this Islamophobic situation, on which they can trust or whom they can call their Maseeha? Surely the answer will be no. Because there is continuous prosecution of Muslims. Their rights are being exploited. Their freedom is being curtailed. Their citizenship is under doubt. They are raising their voice against ongoing discrimination but it is not being listened.  They are raising their genuine issues but they are not being concerned. Protection of law remains only a meaningless guarantee for them because they are not feeling secure in their country. And even a suspect becomes a serious issue if the suspected person is a Muslim. On the contrary to this, even a big mater can be tolerated or hidden if the accused is Hindu.

It seems that India is fighting with Covid-19 less and having war against Muslims more.

But this is not a healthy gesture for a diverse country like India. It does not represent what exactly the idea of India is. If it will continue, the situation will be worse. Increasingly it will definitely cause to weaken their faith on administration, law and order and “unity in diversity” and ultimately the situation of our country will be like this “Today is my turn, tomorrow will be yours”. Therefore we should reinsure our brotherhood, love, unity, peace and harmony by assuming our age-old culture. On the other hand we should eradicate communal hate and try to avoid illegal or useless speeches and provocative statements cause violence that not only against Muslims but against anyone. Then the India will smoothly progress and set an example for rest of the world.

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