Religious congregations need to be prohibited in the greater interest of public health.
Religion has become the easiest tool to suppress people.
The issues of migrant workers who face the biggest challenge to their lives after the lock down was declared in India has suddenly been completely forgotten by the media whose obsession is to convert the crisis into a political opportunity for their masters in Delhi and hence they have started playing to their favourite Hindu Muslim subject with numerous conspiracy theories which even the Chinese and Americans have resisted so far. President Putin spoke to the nation yesterday while his European counterparts have already done that long back but none ‘smelt’ any particular conspiracy theory emerging from Islamic world or Muslims but Manustream media in India is now shamelessly debating the issue as if all other issues related to the crisis have been discussed.
There is little doubt that the entire attitude of Tablighi Jamaat has been of irresponsibility and highly dangerous. Their activities have already been found spreading Corona virus in South East Asian countries. I quote from a report published on March 20th from New York Times, whose correspondent Hannah Beech reported from Bangkok about the huge gathering of the Jamaat in Malaysia posing a great threat to public health.
“Three weeks later, participants in the 16,000-strong gathering of the world’s biggest Islamic missionary movement had spread the coronavirus to half a dozen nations, creating the largest known viral vector in Southeast Asia.
More than 620 people connected to the four-day conclave have tested positive in Malaysia, prompting the country to seal its borders until the end of the month. Most of the 73 coronavirus cases in Brunei are tied to the gathering, as are 10 cases in Thailand. At least three coronavirus deaths have been linked to the event.”
There is no need to defend these ‘God fearing’ people of any variety as they have posed the greatest risk to humanity and human life. My points are simple here. How is that the Indian government was completely unaware of the Jamaat irresponsible act in Malaysia. Its leader continues to mislead people about the current lock done and like any other rigid religious fellow, he only tells his blind followers to just think of God and nothing else, so they really won’t believe in law.
What happened in Indore when doctors were stoned by the people is not shameful but is the outcome of the religiously blind attitude where people feel only God has the right to control them and no authority or structure of power. But let us remember, this attitude is not confine to one Tablighi alone. All religious rights have this issue and need to be exposed. The politics and control in the name of religion has hurt humanity more than anything and governments world over need to see what exactly is ‘religious freedom’. Should we allow huge congregations in the name of religions or preaching by the TV Savvy Babes, pastors, mullahs?
If somebody is blaming that the Maulana was only believing in Allah, they should not forget that a few days back we saw the in the United States. According to Newsweek report on March 13th,
“Conservative televangelist Kenneth Copeland told viewers of his ministry’s program that they were “healed” of the coronavirus disease as he prayed while asking them to touch their televisions screens to receive the spiritual healing.
Copeland’s bizarre message to his followers during a “special report” on his Victory channel, titled “Standing Against Coronavirus,” was first reported by Right Wing Watch on Thursday. In a clip of his prayer, the Christian pastor reaches his outstretched hand toward the camera, asking viewers to draw close and touch their screens.
“Thank you, Lord Jesus. He received your healing,” the religious leader said in the video, bowing his head. “Now say it: I take it. I have it. It’s mine. I thank you and praise you for it.”
He went on: “According to the word of God, I’m healed. And I consider not my own body. I consider not symptoms in my body. But only that which God has promised.””
US is facing the biggest challenge in its history
Now it is over three weeks and United States of America is facing the biggest challenge in its history perhaps since the World War II, as Death toll rose Six Thousand persons and infection of over 2,50,000 persons with New York City facing the biggest brunt as doctors and hospitals are overwhelmed and frankly unable to cope the pressure.
We need to see why such irresponsible talks in the name of religion must be discarded. A week before, it was reported from Punjab that a Sikh preacher Baldev Singh, who was advised for self-isolation due to Coronavirus but he ignored and continue with his preaching in the huge gatherings and the result was that over forty thousand people are quarantined in Punjab today while Baldev Singh died a few days back.
According to a report in DW:
“The chief of the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) group hosted a cow urine-drinking event on Saturday in New Delhi, hoping that the practice staves off the coronavirus.
“We have been drinking cow urine for 21 years, we also take a bath in cow dung. We have never felt the need to consume English medicine,” said Om Prakash, one of the party attendees.
Suman Harpriya, a legislator in the north-eastern state of Assam, told state lawmakers during an assembly session on March 2 that cow urine and cow dung could be used to treat COVID-19″.
Various social media messages have emerged suggesting the traditional ‘ayurvedic’ methods to treat Corona. Cow Urine and cow dung are often claimed to ‘cure’ everything in India and all those who make such claims go Scott free.
What is the way out?
It is time for all democracies of the world to decide one thing which be strict for religious gatherings. Stop all the nonsense spreading in the name of religion. Let faith be a personal matter but all this attempt to organise religions under one cult or others, magnify one and vilify others must stop in the greater interest of humanity. Huge amount of money, resources are wasted to provide spaces, security to these places and at the end of the day, we don’t get enlightened people out of it. We only get rigid and blocked minds out of these gatherings who are not ready to accept the directives given in people’s interest by the state agencies.
None of these cults represent the communities though they have huge following. Tablighi Jamaat is a century old organisation, perhaps older than the RSS. It is time too for the people who believe to be religious to relieve their religions from such cults or Babes as they are the biggest threat. Most of them have huge business interests and now become politically powerful. Religion must remain absolutely a private affair whether you believe in it or not. Anybody spreading superstitions, wrong information or bringing crowd deliberately should be strictly dealt with.
Religious organisations of any variety do represent certain sets of people but not the entire community. It is important for us to differentiate Muslims from Tablighi Jamaat very much like RSS does not represent all the Hindus, even if it would like to claim such.
Government if possible, should send media, particularly the electronic to desist playing the dirty communal games to defame Muslims in particular as it will serve no purpose. It will only hurt our national interest. Investigate Tablig’s affairs as has been rightfully done so but not to confine your energy on one individual or organisation. Focus on every religious organisation or event which has potential to cause huge health risk for the nation as well as for the world. We cannot allow superstitions and blind faiths to jeopardize the safety of humanity. Time to call all these gangs complete bluff. No need to suggest this is good and that is bad. Let religions remain absolutely private matter and state protect and defend people. Organised religions are organised threat to humanity and we need to stop them going in the hands of mad leaders claiming all the miraculous powers now and the best way is ensuring religion play minimum role in our political decisions and public life. But will it be possible when religion has become the easiest tool to suppress people and evade public probe into the misdeeds of the political executive. Who will bell the cat?
Vidya Bhushan Rawat