Rising above Religions, Let’s Resist Coronavirus Pandemic!

The humankind is engulfed by Coronavirus. People are dying. Many are struggling between life and death … While death is one form of tragedy, the hell of life without livelihood is even more tragic.

Coronavirus is spreading irrespective of class, caste, gender, region, religion, nation and language. It poses all kinds of challenges to people and governments. The responsibility to protect people from this major threat rests primarily on governments. Governments are alert about it, evaluating regularly the medical, police, media, social, technical and human resources available and attempting to deploy them effectively. Social distancing, lockdown, quarantine, testing and treatment, are being implemented.

It is in this context that the central government announced the lockdown. Even as they implement the lockdown, the state governments too are evolving their own strategies to combat the virus. When our Prime Minister called for Janata Curfew, clapping and lighting of lamps, crores of people in our country, rising above caste, and religion, participated.

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At the same time, we also need to recognise the realities. The way the lockdown was invoked by the government has thrown lives of crores of our people into disarray. If the decision was implemented with adequate precautions, giving time for people to prepare to leave for their places, if some time was given to them to reach their homes, if arrangements were made to facilitate this, it would have helped the poor cope.

Crores of the abjectly poor, unorganised labour with infants, who throng our cities to eke out a living from far-flung places were suddenly rendered homeless. Left with no other option, they are walking thousands of kilometres to their homes, braving harsh weather, hunger and thirst. Children and the elderly are dying of hunger. On the other hand, we are hearing that domestic violence has gone up and women and children are being put to untold miseries.

Many families depend on daily wages and daily sales are unable to meet their basic needs. Facing up to the challenges of these difficulties and losses, the people, particularly the poor are willingly abiding by the orders and rules of the government in the eager hope of overcoming the threat of Corona pandemic. They are counting their days, standing by each other with courage and helping each other out with love, rising above caste, community and religion.

Some elements are bent on polluting this environment of good-will in times of adversity. They have taken the religious conference held at Nizamuddin Tabligh in New Delhi as an excuse to ramp up an intense campaign of poisonous hatred against the entire Muslim community. This campaign is being run to establish that Tabligh Jamaat and the entire Muslim community are solely responsible for the spread of the virus in India. “Corona Jihad”, “Corona terrorism”, “Islamic revivalism” are some of the phrases in currency. Media is reverberating with stories of renewed threat of Islam to India. Media is spreading strange stories, inserting visuals unconnected to the present context. This propaganda is aimed at terrorising ordinary folks into thinking that Muslims have resorted to some major subversion.

Electronic Media playing a dirty role

It appears that electronic media, social media, have taken an anti-Muslim stand and are forcefully orchestrating their agenda. They are sowing doubts in the minds of the people that Coronavirus can infect by the mere touch of Muslims. The social distancing that is being followed for preventing Corona is taking the shape of a social boycott when it comes to the Muslim community. This situation is a body blow to the spirit of the nation-wide united fight against the virus.

It is being reported that doctors are fearing to provide care to Muslim patients. In many places, Muslims are being asked not to report to work. All over the country, Muslims are being reduced to a criminalised, insecure existence. Apart from all other common troubles, Muslim communities are experiencing terrible psychological violence.

These acts that divide the social fabric vertically, that promote mutual distrust and hatred are acts of subversion, divisive, and against the rule of law. Everyone understands that no single caste, religion or class is responsible for the spread of the Coronavirus.

It is no exaggeration to say that there is no one who does not know that this is not any single individual’s problem, nor that of a single nation. It is a major threat being faced by the entire humankind and Corona is a pandemic.

There may be many other reasons for the spread of Corona in our country and this is the time to assume collective responsibility. Though we have several limitations and failures in facing this threat, this is the time for us to set them aside and depend on available human resources and common values.

This is the time to block the poisonous propaganda that the only reason for the spread of the virus in the country are the activities of the Tablighi Jamaat and the Muslims. Some people are attempting to stoke communal hatred by intentionally, in a planned way, running this inhuman propaganda on social media to misrepresent Muslims community. We condemn these cruel activities in one voice. We demand that the Central and State governments take severe and immediate action against those responsible for such activities.

We request all the media entities to expose the conspiracy to once again scapegoat the Muslim community and to work towards building communal harmony.

Similarly, those who have participated in the Markaz conference, and other Muslims who have had interaction with them must voluntarily go to the authorities, get Covid tests done, follow doctors’ advice, and cooperate with the governments.

Corona virus is a pandemic. This is a global threat being faced by the entire humankind. Let us face this pandemic unitedly together, rising above caste and religious differences!

                                                                                                  13th April 2020

Vimala Morthala

Prof Haragopal, Civil Liberties Activist

Prof Rama Melkote

Boorgula Narsinga Rao, Freedom Fighter

K Ramachandra Murthy, Journalist

K Srinivas, Andhra Jyothi Editor

Allam Narayana, Writer, Journalist

B Narsinga Rao, Film Director

Zaheer Ali Khan, Executive Editor, Siasat

Amer Ali Khan, Editor, Siasat

Khader Mohiuddin, Journalist

Gita Ramaswamy, Publisher

Jeevan Kumar, Human Rights Activist;

N Venugopal, Journalist

JB Tilak, Delhi

Guntur Lakshmi Narsaiah, Poet, literary critic

Katyayani, writer, literary critic

Ambati Surendra Raju, Journalist

Bhooman, Journalist

Goreti Venkanna, Writer-singer

Prasen, Poet, journalist

Vempalli Sharif, writer, journalist

Vimala, Social activist

Prasada Murthy, Poet, journalist

RV Rama Rao, Journalist

Arasavelli Krishna, Virasam

GR Ambedkar, Lawyer

R Bharadwaja, Journalist

Varalakshmi, Virasam

Buddiga Jamindar, journalist

Mamata Vegunta, Painter

Tadi Prakash, Journalist

Desaraju, Poet

P Satyavati, Writer

Skybaba, Poet

Bandla Ramam Rao, Poet

Satya Ranjan, Sangamam

C Umamaheswar Rao, Director

Khaja, Poet

Wahed, Poet

Jaha Ara, Lawyer

Dr Shajahana, Poeet

K Subhashini, Writer

Seeramsetti Kanta Rao, Writer

Mutyala Prasad, Visalandhra

Kanthamneni Rajagopal, Writer

KN Malleswari, Writer

Amarendra Dasari, Writer

Katyayani Vidmahe, Writer

Sankar, Cartoonist

Devipriya, Poet

Kosaraju Suresh, Publisher

Durgam Subbarao, Journalist

Sajaya Kakarla, Social Activist, Journalist

RK, Publisher Perspectives

Muppala Bhargavasri, Writer

 Kothaplalli Ravibabu, Writer

Balreddy, Malupu

Devi, Cultural Activist

CSR Prasad, Virasam

Nalluri Rukmini, Writer

Mandaraapu Hymavathy, Poet

Divi Kumar, Jana Sahithi

Prasadanna, CPI ML State leader

Jyothi, Journalist

Gali Narasa Reddy, Poet

Olga, Writer

Akkineni Kutumba Rao, Writer

C Rammohan, Writer

A Rajendrababu, Writer

Rama Sundari, Writer

Sumitra, Ankuram

Bajara, Writer

SG Kalyani, Writer

Raghavachary, Convener, Palamuru Adhyayana Veika

K Achyutha Ramamrao, President, A I K M S

K Ranadhir, General Secretary, A I K M S

V. Sandhya, POW,  National Convener

Subhadra,  POW State General Secretary

Arelli Krishna, President, I F T U

M Srinivas, General Secretary, I F T U

P Varadayya, President, P Y L

A Rajender, General Secretary, P Y L

M Parasuram, President, P D S U

Vijay Kanna, General Secretary, P D S U

P Venu,  State President, Arunodaya Samskrutika Samakhya

M Nirmala, Arunodaya Samskrutika Samakhya

Srisail Reddy Panjugula, Chairman, Professor Jaishankar Human Resources Development Centre

Kandukuri Ramesh Babu, Journalist, Photographer

Arunank Latha, Writer

G Venkatakrishna, Writer

Anil Atluri, Writer

B Narsimha, OPDR

Thayama Karuna, Writer

Aparna Thota, Writer

Aranya Krishna, Writer

Shanthi Prabodha, Writer

Kiran Vissa, Raithu Swarajya Vedika

Kondaveeti Satyavathi, Social Activist

Kurmanath, Journalist

S Ashalatha, Social Activist

S Ramu, Journalist

Narayanaswamy, Poet

Attada Appalanaidu, Writer

Justice Chandra Kumar

Ravi Kanneganti, Raithu Swarajya Vedika

Aluru Raghava Sarma, Journaist

Kathi Padma, Mahila Chetana

VVnamurthy, Writer

Bhandaru Vijaya, Writer

Mrunalini, Writer

Kalpana Kannabiran, Feminnist Sociologist

Vasant Kannabiran, Feminist Writer, Poet

Prof Padmaja Shaw, rtd academic

Shyam Rao, Social Activist

B Subramanyam, PUDR, Theatre Activist, Delhi

Sadiq Ahmad, State Secretary, JIH Telangan
K Lalita, Anveshi

Vasantalakshmi, Journalist

Madhurantakam Narendra, Writer

Undurthi Sudhakar, Writer

Lelle Suresh, Professor

U Vindhya

Khaleda Parveen, Social Activist

S Bal Raj, AITUC

T Visweswara Rao, AIKS

Kantaiah,  BKMUK

Srujna, NFIWV

Syed Vali Ullah Khadri, AIYF

Ashok Stalin,  AISFN

K Srinivas, IPTA

Dr. Veerachari, PWA

K. Prabhakar, Dalit

Punem Srinivas,  Girijana

Yadaiah MCH, AIPSO

Munir Patel, INSAF

Panjala Ramesh, Jana Seva Dal

Sadanada Goud, STUG

Bommagani Prabhakar, IAL

Arunkumar, ISCUFS

S. Vittal, TS MEU

S. Babu, TS RTCEU

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