New Delhi: Yesterday it was the controversial spraying of migrants in Bareilly, today it’s a far bigger and more dangerous issue: coronavirus cases detected at the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi, with hundreds holed up inside, and hundreds more on the coronavirus watchlist. Six people have already died.
The incident has elicited partisan views and divisive politics as Indian politicians react angrily.
Former Indian cricketer and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir can’t believe what happened there.
What were these people gathering at Nizamuddin thinking? Is it a joke that the entire country is under lockdown? One wrong action by anyone of us can lead to a disaster of gigantic proportions!
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) March 30, 2020
J&K’s former chief minister Omar Abdullah fears the incident will set a dangerous precedent.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 31, 2020
Former chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Zafar Sareshwala agrees with him.
It is very unnecessary&dangerous to convert the issue of #NizamuddinMarkaz into Communal and what not ! Even certain Media Houses are behaving in most irresponsible behaviour! #Markaz any given time has 2000/3000 people since 70 years including Foreigners …
— zafar sareshwala (@zafarsareshwala) March 31, 2020
Aam Aadmi Party’s Akshay Marathe wonders at reactions to the Delhi government’s decision to act against the organisers of the Tablighi Jamaat.
It's unbelievable there are people that are against criminal action against the organisers of the Tabliqi jamaat. Is there no understanding of the seriousness of the pandemic? This is not business as usual. It is not an occasion for routine whataboutery.
— Akshay Marathe (@AkshayMarathe) March 31, 2020
BJP’s Amit Malviya and lyricist Javed Akhtar weigh in on the issue, but find themselves disagreeing over semantics
Fatwa? In a secular India, government’s instruction ordering closure of all religious places, including Mosques, is the final word.
It is amusing to see how veil of these vile, self proclaimed custodians of ‘secular values’ slips when it comes to their faith… pic.twitter.com/MfEC5wpwlS
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) March 31, 2020
Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan claims he has the real facts about what happened and who is to blame.
Read the actual facts about the Nizamuddin Markaz covid cases. There was an Int Conference going on there when the lockdown was suddenly announced. They kept the authorities informed at all times& kept requesting them to allow the visitors to be escorted out. Unfair to blame them pic.twitter.com/9xT37d4Sya
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) March 31, 2020
Going back to the Bareilly incident, Congress leader Kapil Sibal has an original take on who needs disinfectants sprayed on them.
Time to sanitise our politics
Not migrant workers reaching Bareilly to go home
1) in factories
2) harvest crops
3) in restaurants , hotels
4) in construction projects , highways
5) in homes
They Build India
Treat them with dignity
— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) March 31, 2020
Former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan raises a very important issue in this tweet. What was the point of banging bartans (utensils) during the ‘janata curfew’ if this is how we treat medical staff?
Salaries of doctors cut to be put in PM's newly created trust. Of doctors, who are fighting this battle at the risk of their lives! Seriously @narendramodi? Is that how you show solidarity? I want to write shame on you. But I am ashamed how many times a day I will write that? pic.twitter.com/xIoaMtOXJN
— Kannan Gopinathan (@naukarshah) March 30, 2020
Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha is unimpressed by the Indian and US government’s handling of the pandemic.
There is a lesson for two of the world’s largest democracies. Yes, populist nationalism will win you elections. But governance, that’s a different ball-game.
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) March 31, 2020
Ex-billionaire and fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya wants Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s attention.
I have made repeated offers to pay 100 % of the amount borrowed by KFA to the Banks. Neither are Banks willing to take money and neither is the ED willing to release their attachments which they did at the behest of the Banks. I wish the FM would listen in this time of crisis.
— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) March 31, 2020
Effortless as ever, the unstoppable 20-time Grand Slam tennis champion Roger Federer won’t let quarantine rust his technique.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) March 30, 2020
Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, appreciates PM Modi sharing his favorite Yoga Nidra youtube video—perhaps she wants to acquire the zen-like demeanor of the Indian Prime Minister.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) March 31, 2020
After over a thousand people in the state of Louisiana defy coronavirus bans over religious gatherings in the US, the great almighty himself speaks up…
See you all soon! https://t.co/5jOFIb48wC
— God (@TheTweetOfGod) March 31, 2020
And time for some nostalgia: the Backstreet Boys perform their classic 1999 hit song ‘I Want It That Way’ from their individual homes.
— Ashley Spencer (@AshleyySpencer) March 30, 2020
With inputs from Yimkumla Longkumer