Gulf News, on April 13 published an article written by Swati Chaturvedi, with the headline – “COVID-19: And now it is ‘corona jihad’ in Modi’s hate-filled new India”, It further says, “While the Centre’s response appears ham-handed in contrast to some state governments which are prioritising communication and relief, the BJP has not lost sight of the end goal - demonising Muslims even in the middle of a pandemic as India extends the most draconian shutdown anywhere in the World by a further two weeks.
Hence, the criminal irresponsibility of the TablighiJamaat, which continued a Delhi congregation despite clear indications that members were ill and which had foreigners from hot spots participating, is increasingly become the alibi for the Modi government’s initial lackadaisical response.
On March 1, Gulf News another article on anti-Hindu riots in Delhi from Swati Chaturvedi with headlines – ‘‘Modi and Amit Shah harvest hate in India: The bumper crop is blood.’’
She didn’t even spare RSS. ‘‘Mosques were burnt in Delhi after putting a triumphal flag on the minarets as Delhi police watched as causal bystanders when we lost our essential humanity and turned barbarians”. Indianawaaz.com on April 2 wrote – ‘‘Why single out Tablighi Jamaat; Let’s all fight Coronavirus’’, written by A.J. Philip. The article reads, ‘‘Namaste Trump was a vainglorious PR exercise for both Trump and Modi, who persisted with the programme even as Coronavirus was spreading its tentacles far and wide. Tablighi Jamaat should have been more sensible than Modi and Trump and should have called off its programme at Markaz, given the rising COVID-19 graph all over the World”. On April 12, Inquilab newspaper published an article written by Dr Mushtaque Ahmed with the headline – ‘‘Lockdown ke baadmushqil ki ghadi shuru hogi’’. (The time of trouble will begin once the lockdown period gets over). The Sunday edition of Akhbar-e-Mashriq – Guldasta wrote– ‘‘Corona kabahana, Musalman phir nishana’’ said since the report of corona positive cases from TablighiJamaatMarkaz came to light, a section of media started blaming Muslims for the spread of this disease.
Only headings of some of other Urdu newspaper articles are more than enough to understand their intentions. Sahafat, on April 14, carried an article written by Qamar Anjum Faizi with headline – ‘‘Coronavirus aurgodi media kazalimanakirdaar.’’ The editorial of Aag, on April 14, on the pandemic titled – ‘‘Oof yeh sannata…’’ was a poetic marvel which includes the couplets of Mirza Ghalib, QatilShefai, Gulzar, Ada Zafari, BeganaChangezi and BismilSaeedi.
IMRAN GETS TROLLED FOR WEARING TRACKSUIT
Social media users in Pakistan went into a frenzy after PM Imran Khan was seen wearing a tracksuit in his address. He was severely criticised for being unprofessional. Twitter users wrote: “Wearing a tracksuit and addressing the World! How you have diminished our good country” They were not happy with the premier’s wardrobe choice either: “Did Imran Khan address the nation and UN in a tracksuit? Seriously?” In the April 12 televised message, Khan had urged the international community, particularly the United Nations Security Council (UNSG) and the global financial institutions to respond positively to the dilemma confronting the developing counties in the face of COVID-19 outbreak.