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Corona Lock Down – Dual Standards of India

Sidra Insar Chaudhary

Sidra Insar Chaudhary

Two glaring incidents of violation of the Covid-19 lockdown by mass gatherings in Indian state of Karnataka has not only left the GoI embarrassed but whole world is now looking towards BJP govt for similar actions and humiliation it drew upon Tableeghi Jamaat congregation of Nizamuddin. The former CM from BJP, B.S. Yediyurappa’s has placed Karnataka government and Indian state at the crossroads to prove it’s so called secular status.

It is interesting to note that not only did former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy’s family go ahead with his son Nikhil’s wedding 16 Apr, an Hindu religious annual event of chariot procession was also taken out at the Siddhalingeswara Temple in Revoor village of Chittapur taluk in Kalaburagi district the same day, with more than 1,000 devotees attending the event. Kalaburagi is the place where India’s first Covid-19 death took place; it was the first district in the country to be shut down, and remains a Covid-19 hotspot. Up till now for the Revoor incident, two officials an area sub-inspector of police and a district administration official have been charged with dereliction of duty and suspended. Five local residents have also been arrested for violating lockdown rules.

The govt’s action clearly indicates that it has no writ to exercise when Hindu religion or imp BJP leader is involved. Initially India and Modi were in denial mode pretending to be corona proof nation. It was after a Sadhu’s death the international statesman (Modi) with IQ equal to human body’s temp realized that corona virus is bent to prove him wrong. Modi’s confused and irrelevant addresses to India alleviated the levels of chaos in Indian public.

So while the Centre’s response appears inept in contrast to some state governments which are prioritising communication and relief, Modi came with a brilliant idea of total lock down. The total lock down proved to be even more dangerous than corona for .8 billion Indians who life story is just an effort of daily survival.

The VHP on 5th Apr demanded complete ban on Nizamuddin Markaz, Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) a letter petition has been sent to Chief Justice of India to impose a “complete ban” and demolish the building of the organization at Nizamuddin on the activities of Tablighi Jamaat with immediate effect. The Muslim leaders of TJ were charged of manslaughter. The petition has sought to transfer the investigation to the CBI to probe into the alleged “conspiracy of spreading the infection throughout India in the garb of congregation.”

The Muslims and whole world are now waiting to hear the demands of VHP and hate speeches for similar acts of high magnitude this time from Hindus. Talk of Jihad is not new in India. This corona-jihad is only the new addition to the long list of jihad types used by the BJP’s followers on social media sites. Even the well-educated BJP crowd now accepts some form of jihads being true. Love jihad, for example, is the idea that Muslim men are seducing Hindu girls to fall in love with them in order to convert them to Muslim faith. Population jihad means Muslims are trying to convert their minority status to majority one by reproducing at a faster rate than Hindus. Corona Jihad is perhaps the most ridiculous form yet where nationalists falsely claim that Muslims are spreading virus to kill Hindus. After this trend, young Muslim men providing food to poor during the lockdown have been beaten up.

Muslims have been made to run from their neighborhoods, mosques have been attacked, other Muslims have been nearly lynched. There have been announcements in several places not to buy food from Muslim owned shops. Muhammed Haider, a milk shop owner, told The New York Times that “Because of corona, people now only need a small reason to lynch us or beat us.”  After the February pogroms, even the Muslim leaders are now afraid to speak up.

The Modi government’s calculations turned pandemic into panic and chaos, then Muslims (Tableeghi Jamaat) came to rescue Modi and now it is ‘corona jihad’ in Narendra Modi’s hate-filled new India. The Narendra Modi government’s default mode is to seek a political win using India’s beleaguered Muslims. In India, pol parties which seek power on the back of bigotry have got a new lease of life.

All norms of social distancing were broken and then the communal spin masters tried to claim that they had gathered outside a mosque. The fact that the mosque and a temple were both near the railway station was not relevant.

Muslims across India are bearing the brunt of these communally charged statements as the coronavirus firefighting has ensured that no questions will ever be asked.