India

How Media used WhatsApp Information for Shifting the focus from failure of Govt to Tablighi Jamat

I have personal issues with Tablighi Jamat since I don’t want someone to push me beyond a certain level, to follow something. Let’s come to the real issue, how Tablighi Jamat was made a scapegoat in this Corona fight and why there is a complete shift of media from the real issue to combat Corona, along with, falling of economy which is directly affecting the millions of daily wagers and small business enterprises and livelihood of people living outside the native state.

The issue of Jamat came on 31st of March when it was reported that there were more than 1500 people “HIDING” inside the Markaz and some of them are Corona positive.

(a) Were they really HIDING or stranded? A large group of Jamatis had booked tickets to travel back to their places in trains, but the rail services were suddenly stopped on 22nd of March and they had no choice but to follow the direction of the Honourable PM to remain wherever they were and hence got stranded at the places where they were with no choice.

(b) On 24th March, the Tablighi Jamat received a letter from the SHO of Nizamuddin to evacuate Markaz and so the people of Jamat requested for 17 vehicles passes so that the people in Markaz could travel back to their destinations but their request was unnecessarily delayed with no acknowledgement from the concerned authorities. Till 31st of March, Jamatis kept waiting for the vehicle passes.

(c) On 25thof  March, the medical team visited the Markaz and examined Jamatis and made a list of people who attended the congregation.

(d) On 26th of March, SDM visited the Markaz and asked the Markaz authorities to have a meeting with DM wherein the delegation from the Markaz requested SDM for vehicle passes but the request was not heeded by the authorities concerned to issue passes.

(e) On the 27th of March, the medical team took 6 persons for the medical check-up.

(f) On 28th of March, SDM, along with, WHO team visited the Markaz and took 33 persons for a medical checkup and on the same day a Notice was issued by ACP Lajpat Nagar reiterating the prohibitory orders and warning for legal actions and the same was replied on 29th of March.

(g) From 30th of March, false and fabricated news started circulating in the social media, which was later picked up by the mainstream media without verifying the authenticity and sources of such unverifiable stories and transmitting malicious news agendas like CORONA JIHAD, giving it a communal angle to portray an organization like Tablighi Jamat as the reason for the spread of coronavirus in India, simultaneously creating a HINDU MUSLIM divide in which they succeeded.

(h) So, the question of how were they hiding, when all the authorities were in regular contact with Markaz and the distance of Markaz from Nizamuddin police station is less than 80 meters and every day a designated police officer makes a report of visitors of Markaz as a norm.

Did any of the Jamati spit on the healthcare staff? No, this was a fake viral video circulated on Whatsapp in the name of jamatis. But the fact of the matter is that the video showing a person spitting on someone is an old video from Maharashtra of a skull capped under trial prisoner, who was not happy with police for not being allowed food from his house.

ALT news is the web portal which checks the authenticity of the news and it found it to be fake news. But fake news was published in almost all the newspapers and more than 10 prime-time shows were aired on this and one of the participant Dr Ajay Alok of JDU went ahead and requested for a shoot at sight orders for Jamatis. A police complaint has been lodged against him and waiting for the police action or else an official criminal complaint case will be in the court against him.

Was Tablighi member roaming nude in the hospital? Again it was fake news of a man walking nude in the hospital, which was an old video from Pakistan which the mainstream media claimed to be a video of Jamati and a full hue and cry was made in the country. The ALT news decoded it and found it again to be a misleading and fake video.

Were Tablighi Members defecating in public in Saharanpur quarantine centre, it was completely denied on the verified twitter account of the Saharanpur police and asked the concerned newspaper to remove this fake news. Several other misinformation being circulated, which, in no ways going to help the country and will only harm the reputation of the country in the world and will affect the nation economically as well.

WHY SUCH MISINFORMATION IS BEING CIRCULATED?

India is a country of more than 1.3 billion population, out of which, 454 million of people are living Below Poverty Line, which is 38.2% (2014 Rangarajan Committee report) and nearly 300 million people are middle class. When the lockdown was announced, which was in fact need of the hour and which should have been announced earlier but the Central Government was busy in Namaste Trump event and toppling a state government in Madhya Pradesh, hence, they acted late.

When a country with such a huge population and with limited resources gets lockdown, it needs prior preparation, which the government did not make and even did not consult the state governments, thereby, millions of daily wagers became homeless as their job came to halt and contractors stopped their payment. The landowners asked them to vacate their houses and they were left without food and shelter. Ultimately they had to wage a lone battle of walking with luggage and toddlers towards their home which ranges from 80 kilometres to 1600 kilometres. More than 50 of them died on road because of starvation and fatigue but there was no help from government agencies for them. (The real data might be much higher)

Dr Anthony Fauci who is the master in tackling Pandemic be it Swine Flu, Ebola or this COVID-19, had clearly said in one of his interviews, that the only solution to keep this pandemic under control is Testing, Testing and Testing and India is among the lowest testing nations.

The government had not given any reply as to how the people from COVID-19 affected countries were arriving in India till 20th of March and not one of them were screened properly and no mandatory quarantine was forced on them.

To avoid all these questions of their monumental failure in tackling this pandemic, this whole narrative of Jamat was created with the help of media, which created a religious rift among the people of India.

On 20th of March, a religious congregation took place in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh that was attended by 1500 people and 13 people tested COVID-19 positive and 26000 people were sent for mandatory quarantine. On the contrary, 25000 people were sent for quarantine in Jamat case, meanwhile, several other religious congregations took place post lockdown and one of them was organized and attended by the CM of Uttar Pradesh.

All these congregations were equally wrong and could have been avoided but the government is leaving no stone unturned to divide our nation on religious line.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. M S Haque

    April 16, 2020 at 10:00 PM

    Excellent effort to make every Indian understand the real picture which is being tried to be covered by misleading any distorted stories.Let wisdom prevail.
    MSH

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