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July 31, 2021

“Corona Jihad”: India Blame Muslims for the Spread of Covid-19

India is a country that is considered full with the people having Hindutva, extremist and Hindu nationalist ideology. The followers of such kinds of ideology consider themselves as superior people from the rest of the people belonging to other religions within the country. In this regard, these extremist Hindus always conspire against and commit atrocities on other minorities particularly Muslims living all over the country. The example of the Indian government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that is mostly inspired by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist ideology, is in front of the world. Besides, the Indian government has been involved in committing atrocities and torture over the people of Jammu and Kashmir through its hawkish and extremist policies as well as practices.

In addition, the whole world is evident of its unjust and undemocratic policies imposed on the minorities particularly Muslims of India such as Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) that was criticized by various people as well as nations throughout the world including within India. Recently, the government of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headed by PM Modi and its RSS extremist allies is blaming the Muslims for the spread of pandemic Covid-19 within India. This blame by ultranationalist Hindus looks foolish, irrational, and a bad joke while there are multiple reasons behind this blame over Muslims.

The first and foremost reason behind this irrational behaviour against Muslims at the hands of Hindutva extremist elements is that they always feel threatened by Muslims of India, therefore, being the followers of an extremist ideology they want to suppress Muslims as well as other minorities by making such kind of foolish blames.

Also, the proponents of Hindutva ideology, radicalism, BJP politicians, and Indian Media blaming Muslim Organisation, gathered in Delhi in March this year, for the spread of the virus in the country. While in this regard a report was made public that negated the accusations on Muslims which entertained that TableegiJamaat took permission before the congregation and at that time there was no ban on congregations within the country. Moreover, Apoorvan and, a professor at the University of Delhi, said that “The COVID-19 pandemic has been turned into yet another Islamophobic conspiracy theory. Physical, verbal and psychological warfare is being waged against Muslims, pushing further their ostracisation in India society”. Besides this, ultranationalist Hindus also have coined a new term called “Corona Jihad” and blame that Muslims are purposefully, deliberately and intentional spreading the virus within the country.

Furthermore, another conspiracy spread by Hindu nationalist and extremist through hashtags such as #TablighiJamatVirus, a reference to the religious group congregation in Delhi. Even though before the congregation gatherings of Muslims, coronavirus positive cases have been reported in the city and there was no ban over gatherings and meetings by India government.

In addition, multiple social media campaigns show the propaganda against Indian Muslims such as The Hindu publishes cartoon showing coronavirus in Muslim attire. Moreover, Billy Perriro, a reporter for Time, wrote an article in Time on April 3, 2020, in which he said: “it was already dangerous to be Muslim in India then came the Coronavirus”. He further explained that Indian authorities linked the cases of the pandemic to Muslim missionary group and they were suppressing Muslims through brutalities and lynching.

In this regard, currently, Muslims are under violent attacks because of this hilarious blame by extremist elements within India. Multiple incidents regarding attacks on carriers of the virus (Muslims) have been reported all over the country. Such as, a case of 22 years old Mehboob Ali reported in central India when he was going back home attackers beat him and set him on fire. In the same manner, Hindu extremist and Hindutva followers are committing atrocities and brutalities on the Muslims of India all over the country. A news report on DW shows that even after the criticism all over the world over nationalist and Hindutva element’s killings and atrocities on Muslims throughout the country.

The Indian government is not doing enough to stop the stigmatization and vilification of Muslims over the coronavirus. Besides, various prohibitions are imposed on Muslims within India such as they are restricted from going anywhere since gangs of these Hindu extremists are closing the entry points of villages to prevent the entry of Muslims. Furthermore, Muslim vendors are not allowed to sell their products, they are stopped by doing their businesses. How ultranationalist Hindus and proponents of the Extremist and Fascist ideology RSS are propagating and putting blames on Muslims for the spread of Covid-19.

Such brutal and hawkish policies and actions of PM Modi government are criticized throughout the world such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also condemned Indian Islamophobia campaign and anti-Muslim prejudice in India over the Covid-19. Furthermore, Indian human rights and political activist, Arundhati Roy, said that “the situation is approaching genocidal because the government’s agenda has been this. Indian government’s policies are unequal against Muslims in which Muslims have been lynched and Muslims have been hunted down. But now the stigmatization with this illness has left Indian government policies on the streets and it comes with the threat of extreme violence. She further explained that Covid-19 has exposed India’s crisis of hatred against Muslims. Because of this extremist and fascist policies of Indian authorities, many Muslims are killed brutally throughout India. While the so-called largest democratic state of the world has been experiencing the hilarious and brutal crimes against the minorities within-country particularly Muslims. Moreover, concerning the Hawkish, extremist and fascist policies and actions by RSS inspired BJP government, Aisha Farooqui, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson shared her deep grief over this by expressing that “it is also deeply disconcerting that the discriminatory and anti-Muslim policies and practices of the Indian government persist even as the Covid-19 pandemic. A systematic campaign is unfortunately underway to demonize Muslims who face increased exclusion as well as the threat of mob violence”.

The article is originally published in Modern Diplomacy

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