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May 31, 2020 | Shahida Akhtar

Coronavirus and Islamophobia

These days a number of articles are published in different newspapers, pamphlets, magazines and conversations ranging from laymen to intellectuals are held on the burning issue of coronavirus.

I also thought to draft a write-up on the pandemic which has so far claimed thousands of lives globally and affected millions of people irrespective of class, caste, religion, race etc. 

Starting from the Wuhan city of China, the epidemic slowly and steadily took the whole world in its cage. Earlier it was thought that it is something which happened in China least knowing that it will disrupt the whole world. 

Every coin has two sides and that was the case with the corona outbreak. Globalization, which is seen as a blessing turned to a curse. The people who travelled from worst hit coronavirus countries like China and other places back to their respective countries carried this virus and virtually it became a pandemic.

In India, initially, no measures were taken to quarantine the travelers coming from affected countries which subsequently resulted in the community transmission of this disease though not at a large scale.

It was only after March 11 that India along with most other countries wake-up to the coronavirus epidemic, when this epidemic was officially declared as pandemic by World Health Organisation (WHO). After this declaration, the government finally then swung into action and started taking preventive measures to tackle this issue and announced country-wide lockdown.

Globally, coronavirus is affecting and affected the millions of people. The people who are getting affected are treated without any discrimination in every corner of the world. In Kuwait, when we look at the statistics of corona affected people, the highest number of affected people are of Indian nationality. But, without the restrictions of nationalities these patients are treated in the finest hospitals of Kuwait.

Similarly, in other countries every efforts are being made to help people to fight Covid-19. But, in India the situation is reverse. India, which is known as the secular country in the world started discriminating coronavirus patients on the grounds of religion when the focus of the whole world is on combating the deadly pandemic. Some people started politicizing this disease out of their personal and political interests.

India, which is a Hindu majority country started giving it the communal shape. The annual congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat at a mosque at Nizamuddin in Delhi was blamed for spreading the virus. The prevalent Islamophobia prompted people to make the people of Muslim faith a target.

With just 200 million people in a country of 1.3 billion population started getting targeting by the Hindu nationalists. No stone was left unturned by the hate mongers and Indian media to target and harass Muslims.

The social media was also used as platform to blame Muslims in India, for the coronavirus outbreak. Many videos falsely showing Muslims spitting on policemen, misbehaving with law enforcement forces and like were circulated and made viral on social networking sites which virtually exacerbated the already dangerous atmosphere for Muslims in India.

The Indian celebrities without looking and digging deeper into the issues which are dividing the society and creating dangerous atmosphere for a particular section of people, start tweeting on these sensitive issues. These tweets are blindly followed by the so called fans of these celebrities which eventually leads to the death and destruction.

So, before tweeting, the repercussions of such tweets should be taken into consideration. The fear of coronavirus is more dangerous than the virus itself. People are already psychologically devastated. The mental health of people are at stake. It is very difficult for common masses to cope up with the hitherto unseen pandemic. A need of the hour is to help people rather than add to their miseries.

The fights like coronavirus are to be won and not to be politicized. There is a need to get united to win the battle which has thrown life out of the gears. In this time of crisis, a collaborative approach should be adopted to fight coronavirus and restore the normalcy of life.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Author is a research scholar, University of Kashmir

 

akhtarshahida40@gmail.com

 

Archive
May 31, 2020 | Shahida Akhtar

Coronavirus and Islamophobia

              

These days a number of articles are published in different newspapers, pamphlets, magazines and conversations ranging from laymen to intellectuals are held on the burning issue of coronavirus.

I also thought to draft a write-up on the pandemic which has so far claimed thousands of lives globally and affected millions of people irrespective of class, caste, religion, race etc. 

Starting from the Wuhan city of China, the epidemic slowly and steadily took the whole world in its cage. Earlier it was thought that it is something which happened in China least knowing that it will disrupt the whole world. 

Every coin has two sides and that was the case with the corona outbreak. Globalization, which is seen as a blessing turned to a curse. The people who travelled from worst hit coronavirus countries like China and other places back to their respective countries carried this virus and virtually it became a pandemic.

In India, initially, no measures were taken to quarantine the travelers coming from affected countries which subsequently resulted in the community transmission of this disease though not at a large scale.

It was only after March 11 that India along with most other countries wake-up to the coronavirus epidemic, when this epidemic was officially declared as pandemic by World Health Organisation (WHO). After this declaration, the government finally then swung into action and started taking preventive measures to tackle this issue and announced country-wide lockdown.

Globally, coronavirus is affecting and affected the millions of people. The people who are getting affected are treated without any discrimination in every corner of the world. In Kuwait, when we look at the statistics of corona affected people, the highest number of affected people are of Indian nationality. But, without the restrictions of nationalities these patients are treated in the finest hospitals of Kuwait.

Similarly, in other countries every efforts are being made to help people to fight Covid-19. But, in India the situation is reverse. India, which is known as the secular country in the world started discriminating coronavirus patients on the grounds of religion when the focus of the whole world is on combating the deadly pandemic. Some people started politicizing this disease out of their personal and political interests.

India, which is a Hindu majority country started giving it the communal shape. The annual congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat at a mosque at Nizamuddin in Delhi was blamed for spreading the virus. The prevalent Islamophobia prompted people to make the people of Muslim faith a target.

With just 200 million people in a country of 1.3 billion population started getting targeting by the Hindu nationalists. No stone was left unturned by the hate mongers and Indian media to target and harass Muslims.

The social media was also used as platform to blame Muslims in India, for the coronavirus outbreak. Many videos falsely showing Muslims spitting on policemen, misbehaving with law enforcement forces and like were circulated and made viral on social networking sites which virtually exacerbated the already dangerous atmosphere for Muslims in India.

The Indian celebrities without looking and digging deeper into the issues which are dividing the society and creating dangerous atmosphere for a particular section of people, start tweeting on these sensitive issues. These tweets are blindly followed by the so called fans of these celebrities which eventually leads to the death and destruction.

So, before tweeting, the repercussions of such tweets should be taken into consideration. The fear of coronavirus is more dangerous than the virus itself. People are already psychologically devastated. The mental health of people are at stake. It is very difficult for common masses to cope up with the hitherto unseen pandemic. A need of the hour is to help people rather than add to their miseries.

The fights like coronavirus are to be won and not to be politicized. There is a need to get united to win the battle which has thrown life out of the gears. In this time of crisis, a collaborative approach should be adopted to fight coronavirus and restore the normalcy of life.

United we stand, divided we fall.

Author is a research scholar, University of Kashmir

 

akhtarshahida40@gmail.com

 

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