Nagpur: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday said that we should not alienate a community due to the mistakes but remain wary of forces inimical to India’s interests taking advantage of the situation.
“It was the responsibility of the administration to keep law and order in check. If someone has made a mistake, we should not alienate the community. Community leaders should tell people not to be angry and get misled,” Bhagwat said in an online address to the RSS workers.
“We have to be patient and calm. There should be no fear or anger as people with anti-India mindset can use it against the country”, said Sangh chief in an apparent reference to incidents involving Tablighi Jamaat members after Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi allegedly emerged as a major coronavirus hotspot.
Asking the Sangh workers to serve people without any discrimination, he said those in need of help “are our own”. “It is our duty to help in this time of crisis. All 130 crore Indians are our own,” he said.
Bhagwat said India handled this pandemic effectively as government and people responded proactively to the crisis. He stressed on development of new model which makes the country self-reliant.
Speculations suggest that the response came a week after the 57-member prominent international Muslim grouping, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), asked India to take “urgent steps” to protect the rights of its minority Muslim community and stop the incidents of “Islamophobia” in the country.
Several incidents of Muslims being marginalized amid virus fear are being reported in media from police harassment to volunteers distributing ration kits to Muslim families to Muslim milk producers threatened by villagers.
While these incidents have been mostly isolated, the virus fears are only amplifying existing prejudices, playing into growing Hindu nationalism which in recent years has seen Muslim societies increasingly marginalized.