India’s social prejudices peak in coronavirus muddle

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Minorities Commission wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday to stop naming the Tableeghi Jamaat as a carrier of coronavirus in the government’s daily briefings.

It said the continued reminders created a false image about Muslims per se, which has triggered a growing number of hate crimes against the community. The fact, however, is that a vicious bout of anti-Muslim violence was already being staged in Delhi by supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for several days since February 24, independent of the coronavirus outbreak across the world.

The country’s first Covid-19 case was detected in Kerala on January 30, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was denying way into March that it posed a serious threat to the country. The Delhi violence was triggered by the BJP’s loss in the election for state assembly, and had little to do with the pandemic.

Likewise, racial assaults have been reported from different parts of the country against men and women belonging to the northeastern states abutting Myanmar and China. The logic in the bias in this instance is supposed to be linked to President Donald Trump’s callous comment about a “China virus” stalking much of the world. However, Indians from the northeast have been targeted periodically out of some other deep-seated prejudice.

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