Denominational Coloring of Corona Spread: A Methodical Move

Tablighi – Jamaat

The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions. Dwight Eisenhower

India has earned a bad name for many preposterous moves and prejudiced acts against Muslims. The of late anti-Muslim riots in Delhi bear testimony to the fact. The echelons of the establishment and its associated myrmidons are always out to blame and hunt Muslims. The media is the main agent and medium of verbal violence against Muslims and other minorities.

Tablighi – Jamaat is the recent victim of this verbal violence at the hands of the establishment and its favored media. The Jamaat is being biasedly held responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in India. This is very unfortunate and at the same time humorously pathetic. Blaming the Jamaat for the spread of the virus in India is nothing but a sheer bias against this Jamaat in particular and the Indian Muslims in general. It is a kind of religious and denominational profiling.

If the virus in India spread through the Jamaat congregations at Nizamuddin, the question arises how it engulfed those countries where there is no Tablighi – Jamaat and all that? Besides this, what about the political and celebrity gatherings? Why aren’t they held responsible for the same? Why are not those Sadhus blamed who arranged the cow urine party amid the influx of this virus? What about the beating of the thali-event in which people participated in legions, could not these Sadhus and thali -beaters be the carriers of the virus? Yes, like others, they could also be. So, why only the Jamaat is pigeonholed? The answer to this question is clear:  the Jamaat does not belong to the mainstream and majority, and others do. This is an open communalization and denominalization of the virus. We cannot save ourselves against this virus by this blame game. Let’s act reasonably in order to stymie this lethal virus.

The other countries where the virus has decimated the large percentage of  population, why haven’t these countries blamed any particular religious denomination for the spread of the virus? The answer is that these countries value human lives and these countries are in search of an antidote in order to save the rest of the population. The media of these countries have no time for the nonsense blame gaming .The Indian media is habitual of communalizing every issue. The sold out media is wont to criminalizing the minority and communalizing even the disease. The media has to be objective and impartial. But irony of the fact is that, in India we have a media that has thrown objectivity and impartiality to the winds. The media here advocates the standpoints of the particular class, religion and denomination.

The virus raised its head in China and China is a country where there is no such Tablighi – Jamaat. So, declaring the Jamaat responsible for the transmission of the virus in India is not only a biased and methodical move but also an act that attracts damnation and drollery. Now the sold out Indian media has coined the term Corono- Jihad. What a nonsensical and illogical coinage!  The Muslim minority in India has been the target of many biasedly false coinages. The first is Love-Jihad and now we have this Corono- Jihad coinage. This is a kind of violence that is called ‘epistemic violence’ by Gayatri Chakarvoty Spivak. Epistemic violence is the infliction of harm against subjects through false discourse. The same violence is now inflicted on the Tablighi- Jamaat. There is a method on the part of the Indian media in holding the Jamaat responsible for the conveyance of this virus. The pandemic has no particular association and it affects everybody without any consideration. It is the wrath of Almighty. So, scapegoating Tablighi- Jamaat connotes as well as predicts the prosecution and prohibition of this Jamaat in future. It is highly condemned and sadly regretted. Now in future, the Jamaat will not be allowed to congregate anywhere. This denomination is going to be banned, like other minority denominations, for good, in the so-called biggest democratic country of the world.

Let’s shun this scapegoating habit. Let’s search for the antidote that can save us from the further spread of this virus. Blaming anyone cannot solve this pandemic problem. Let’s be one to contain this virus. Let’s refrain from holding any particular community or denomination responsible for the spread of this virus at this critical juncture.

Postscript: It’s too easy to criticize a man when he is out of favour, and to make him shoulder the blame for everybody else’s mistakes. Leo Tolstoy

Bilal Ahmad Dar   is a Research Scholar at the Department of English, AMU and can be mailed at: [email protected]



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