How to put an end to Brazen Behaviour after Complicity

Though the first case of Chinese Corona Virus was reported during end January 2020 in India, things were mostly perceived to be under control in Tamil Nadu till two Thailand nationals in Erode were tested positive on March 21. The interrogation of these foreign nationals pointed to Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in Nizamuddin Markaz, New Delhi from March 8 . These two foreign nationals proved to be super spreaders and more than 300 people with whom they came in contact were quarantined. Further investigation also revealed that at least 1,500 Muslims from Tamil Nadu participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi. While around 900 of them returned home by taking flights and buses, 600 more remained there in Nizamuddin Markaz rubbing shoulders with Tablighi Jamaatis from other parts of the country and abroad.

After the return of 900+ Tablighi Jamatis to Tamil Nadu, all the preventive measures hitherto taken by TN Government went in for a toss. The health workers and police, who were discharging their duties peacefully till then, started facing a lot of issues when they approached the Tablighi Jamatis for medical check-up and quarantining. When the government officials tried to contact them over phone, to their shock and surprise, they found that most of the numbers were switched off.

The health workers with the support of police, traced their addresses and requested them to undergo medical check-up. As in other parts of the country, in Tamil Nadu too, health workers faced insults and threats from Tablighi Jamaatis.

On the one hand, Tablighi Jamaatis were becoming “super spreaders” and on the other hand, causing a lot of inconvenience to health workers and police with their unruly behaviour and indiscipline.

None of these unruly behaviour and indiscipline were condemned by any of the muslim community members or their leaders.

On top of this, jamaat leaders demanded rice from the government for Iftar parties during Ramzan and demanded that the Iftar porridge (Kanji) be distributed from the Mosques to Muslims, totally flouting the “physical distancing” norms.

The physical threat and attack on policemen by Muslims in Tondiarpet as well as in Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar where a religious congregation resulted in spike in cases. That is in Chennai. In other parts (Madurai, Dindigul and Tiruppur) of Tamil Nadu too, same was the scenario. It all came as a rude shock to the common public.

The last straw is the recent joint demand from the jamaat leaders to shift the foreign Tablighi Jamaatis, who were arrested for spreading the Virus as well as for visa rules violations, from the Saidapet sub jail saying it is "unhygienic" over there. They want the spreaders to be just lodged in detention camps.

The series of events as mentioned above, evokes a very rational question in the minds of the common public – “How come a particular community repeatedly behaves in a brazen manner even after being complicit to the crime of super spreading the virus and the reason for consequential economic loss / human loss ?”

Though it is a distant call to expect “dharma” in their thought and action, still ways to prevail upon them to be society conscious and welfare oriented have to be thought of.

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