Hyderabad: In a very emotional video, Journalist Rakesh Pathak strongly condemned the hate campaign and media bashing of Tablighi Jamaat and communalisation of the Markaz Nizamuddin issue.
Markaz Nizamuddin which is the headquarter of Tablighi Jamaat made headlines when several attendees of a Jamaat event held from March 13 to 15 were tested positive for coronavirus and the large religious gathering at Delhi’s Nizamuddin that emerged as a virus hotspot with links to COVID-19 deaths.
Rakesh Pathak clarified that it was not that Markaz conducted the meeting and invited foreigners in the month of March only but such meetings are held annually and foreigners arrive at the Markaz throughout the year to learn teachings of Islam. He further said the religious meeting in question was an international event conducted with the consent of home ministry and foreign affairs ministry.
Commenting upon media propaganda that foreigners were hiding in the Markaz, the senior journalist claimed that it was wrong to say that they were hiding as government of India had knowledge of their arrival and the Indian government itself had issued visa to them.
Saying that holding the meeting with such a massive gathering at the time of national and international crisis was a big blunder on the part of the Tablighi Jamaat and case should be booked against the organizers, Pathak also held the state administration responsible for worsening of the situation by not issuing passes for vehicles to ferry people thus helping in contamination of the disease.
He also slammed media for misreporting about the positive cases being 300 to 400 on the first day, while Kejriwal revealed that only 24 or 29 were found positive on the said day.
Rakesh Pathak said that the mistake made by Tablighi Jamaat people provided fodder to the media to make Muslims soft target. Sidelining the issue of the disease they began targeting the followers of a particular religion, calling them terrorist, fidayeen and so on.
He pointed out that many families were stranded at Vaishno Devi shrine when the lockdown was announced, the case similar to that of Markaz. Drawing a contrast between how people of different religions are looked with a different angles, he observed that while the word ‘hiding’ was used for people in Tablighi Markaz, the word ‘stranded’ was used for people stuck in Vaishno Devi temple.
Quoting at least three incidents where a large number of people gathered after Markaz event, Pathak noted that 40 thousand people were registered in Tirupathi on 17th and 18th of March. He recalled that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Ram Janmabhoomi for a religious ceremony amid the lockdown. He further noted that a foreign returned Sikh priest visited 20 villages following which 29 people were found corona positive and at least 40000 people in Punjab were quarantined. Pathak asks how many people are running campaign against that particular religion? Was it also a terror conspiracy? Then he answers himself, neither this nor that (Tablighi event) was a terror conspiracy.
He emotionally asks, why we develop so much hate against a particular religion? He urged people to shun hate and look people as humans instead of segregating them on the basis of religion.