At a time when bureaucrats and other officials across the nation somehow trying to escape the fact that the Tablighi Jamaat had caused an unprecedented upsurge of cases in India during the early part of April, and as a result of which, some even came up with unique nomenclatures like ‘single source event’ to refer to the Nizamuddin Markaz congregation, Yogi Adityanath has once again taken the bull by the horns.
Out of 18 hotspots in Lucknow, 8 have been directly named after mosques. This, since the administration, says that the cases were found to be linked to the said mosques. “The positive cases came from those areas and which is why hotspots have been named after them. There is no other motive to it,” a senior government official told ThePrint.
The names of some of the Mosques which have found mention in the list of hotspots are: ‘Masjid Ali Jaan and nearby areas’, ‘Mohammadiya Masjid and nearby areas’, ‘Khajoor Wali Masjid and adjoining areas’, ‘Phool Bagh/Nazarbagh Masjid and adjoining areas’, etc.
Needless to say, there was a misplaced sense of paranoia after the administration decided to name the hotspots in such a manner, to clearly depict what the source of the bulk of the cases in such areas was. For instance, the Masjid Ali Jaan reported 95 COVID-19 cases, according to ThePrint. In the area surrounding the Masjid, 578 people were suspected to be infected with COVID-19. As such, what is the problem in naming the hotspots after their sources? For all we know, the Uttar Pradesh government, by doing so, has shown that it is working in a very transparent manner.
The Congress and Samajwadi Party couldn’t hold themselves back and pounced at the first opportunity available to somehow make this all look like a large conspiracy against Muslims, when in fact, the administration was simply reporting facts as they were. That the bare facts are not liked by certain political leaders and a section of people is not really a headache for the administration to deal with.
“We should keep religion away from all this. The situation is already bad, so why complicate it further?” said Juhi Singh, a senior Samajwadi Party leader. She further added, “By identifying hotspots via mosques, the government is also defeating its own work that it has done so far. Rather than naming areas after mosques, specific areas should be identified. This exercise will otherwise be seen as divisive.”
The Uttar Pradesh Congress Chief, Ajay Kumar Lallu alleged that the Yogi government was fudging numbers and not pinpointing the source of the cases. We hate to break it to Mr. Lallu, but the administration is doing exactly as you asked – pinpointing the source of the cases. That you don’t like the results of such an exercise is really not anyone else’s problem.
All said and done, the Yogi administration must be commended for not being cowed down and stating the facts as they are, even if uncomfortable to a few. Besides, the names of the Masjids really are flamboyant ones and will go a long way in improving the aesthetics of the hotspot records.