Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi, who is known to have played an instrumental role in the Ram Mandir case last year in favour of the construction of a grand Ram Temple at Lord Ram’s birthplace in the ancient city of Ayodhya, has now made a fervent appeal to the Muslim community in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
He has said, “If a Muslim person dies due to COVID-19 infection, the dead body should be burnt in the electric machines available in the crematorium so that the deadly virus also gets killed.” He added that if the pandemic intensifies in India, the Shia Waqf Board would take a call on whether the Muslim bodies should be buried or burnt in kabristan (Muslim cemeteries).
It must be noted that last month, when the Coronavirus Pandemic originated in the Hubei province of China, the National Health Commission of China too had ruled that those who perished to the novel Wuhan virus would be cremated immediately, instead of being buried. The ideas was to plug the spread of the virus from infected dead bodies, as the Dragon recognised that viruses do not survive at the high temperature at which a dead body is cremated.
Now, Rizwi seems to have understood how cremation of dead bodies can play a critical role in case the Pandemic picks up in India, and therefore he is laudably putting health and nation above religious tenets. He added, “Irrespective of religion, all people should stand together in the fight against coronavirus,” and made it clear that brotherhood among different religious communities is indispensable in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
With this, Rizwi has reaffirmed his image as a progressive Muslim- the kind of community leadership needed at present times when Islamist radicalisation and polarisation is becoming the order of the day. Last year, he had played a big role in the Ayodhya verdict with his suggestion that the disputed site be given to the Hindu side for the construction of a Ram temple, while an alternative plot could be given to the Muslim side for construction of a Mosque- something that also seems to have resonated with the apex court.
In fact, he had also produced Ram Ki Janmbhoomi, a film that unapologetically presented the actual reality about the issue and the controversies surrounding the same. Having shown his progressive tenets during the Ram Mandir verdict, he has once again lived upto such expectations with his appreciable comments about shifting to cremations in view of the Wuhan virus outbreak.