Islamophobia: A Danger to India’s Secularism | Tablighi Jamat | The National TV
- by Suramya-Kaushik
- May 16, 2020 17:25
In India, when pandemic started to spread its feet, the lockdown was soon imposed. A few days later the news flashed with the concerns of a large number of Muslims being at Nizamuddin in Delhi. Then news flashed that these people are of Tablighi Jamat- A Muslim missionary group that held a congregation in the month of March in Delhi. A large number of these people were then tested positive for coronavirus in different states as they attended the congregation and then traveled back to their native places where after 14 days they were found positive for corona. Now, when such news was flashing on news channels with exaggerated headlines, then the secularism in India was murdered.
There are many debaters who would debate that this doesn’t concern secularism and other brotherhood related facts, they were wrong by hiding their whereabouts and thus carried the virus to other places. But is this justice to blame the whole community and degrade the existence of a religion. In other countries, there are strict blasphemy laws due to which those countries respect the existence of other religions be it forcefully under the law or willingly. In India, there are lenient blasphemy laws due to which every now and then there is an attack over a religion whenever something happens on a large scale.
In such a case, not only Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, or Christians are the sufferers but the whole integrity, unity, and secularism of the country suffer. Such a case is happening these days as well. Undoubtedly, the people of Tablighi Jamat who were found in Delhi have committed a crime by not revealing their whereabouts and staying at a place with hundreds of them in number when the nationwide lockdown was already imposed and such gatherings were not permitted and termed against law. These people must be punished according to the related laws and justice must be served to the nation as a whole. But bullying, abusing, attacking the whole religion is a question of huge concern over secularism in India.
Social media is now a trendsetter and it has undoubtedly set some trends which have disturbed the whole existence of secularism. Since March 28, #CoronaJihad has been used for around 300,000 times on Twitter with around 165 million people seeing it according to data shared with TIMES by Equality Labs. Along with this, another hashtag saying #TablighiJamatVirus was viral on Twitter. There were people addressing Muslims as “such vile minded people”. Some posting hate messages for the community were seen going viral. As for an instance, in Himachal Pradesh, a man committed suicide because people were bullying him for carrying coronavirus because he was a Muslim and later he succumbed to all those bullies and abuses. The man was not even in contact with the virus but he had to end up his life because he couldn’t survive the boycott that happened with him. There are many similar cases where people have suffered boycott and abuse because they are Muslims.
Does being a Muslim a crime? No! Belonging and practicing any religion is not a crime but spreading communal hatred is definitely a crime! In these hard times, one has to be together irrespective of religion. The ones who have neglected the country's spread laws must be dealt with suitable charges under the constitutional system of India but that doesn’t mean to target a religion and bully all those people who practice that religion. Islamophobia was existing before this crisis as well but this incident of Tablighi Jamat has given roads to anti-nationals and anti-social elements of society to spread Islamophobia and target the whole concept of secularism on which India proudly stands on. This is the need of the hour where we need to fight this pandemic together. If such a divide will occur and hatred will be spread then we won’t be able to stand up for a better tomorrow. Thus, whatever it may be, secularism must live for long and communal hatred must be buried deep under.
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