For quite some time, it has been clear that liberals have no faith in the principles they claim to profess. The much-hallowed principles of liberalism are merely sticks to beat their political opponents with and in reality, they do not practice what they preach. Such tendencies of liberals have never been more clear than they have been during the Coronavirus pandemic.
In the latest instance, the reactions that the news of Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal testing positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus has garnered reveals a lot about the mentality of liberals. They pretend to have a monopoly over empathy and yet, when the BJP MP from Bikaner, who is a Dalit, tested positive for the virus, their glee was evident from the comments they made on social media.
Propagandists at the NDTV reproduced a report by PTI with the headline, ‘Union Minister, Who Claimed Papad Helps Fight COVID-19, Tests Positive’. Readers would notice that no headlines were run along the lines of ‘Jamaatis, who claimed Allah will protect them from COVID-19, tests positive,’ were nowhere to be seen when scores of Jamaatis and their associates tested positive for the virus.
Similarly, headlines such as, ‘Jamaatis, who were told to trust angels before doctors, turn super spreaders of COVID-19’, were nowhere to be seen. News18 published a report on Arjun Ram Meghwal as well with the headline, “Union Minister Who Endorsed ‘Papad’ to Boost Immunity against Coronavirus Tests Positive”.
Usual suspects could not hide their glee as well and jumped onto the scene to mock the Union Minister. ‘PIL activist’ Prashant Bhushan, who is currently in the dock for alleged contempt of court, asked whether Arjun Ram Meghwal had fed the papad to Home Minister Amit Shah as well.
Swati Chaturvedi, known to be a hateful troll on social media, jumped on the bandwagon as well to mock Arjun Ram Meghwal saying that he should have snacked on papad to cure the Coronavirus.
Similarly, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale’s ‘Go Corona’ slogan was also relentlessly mocked.
Thus, the same people who were branding others as bigots and hatemongers for legitimate criticism of Tablighi Jamaat are wasting no opportunity in mocking Arjun Ram Meghwal after the Union Minister tested positive for the virus. Furthermore, it is also evident to note that nowhere did the Dalit leaders urge anyone to defy Coronavirus guidelines. This is in stark contrast to the conduct of the Jamaatis and significant sections of the Muslim community who were urged to defy guidelines by clerics in the name of Islam.
In fact, the Shaheen Bagh ‘protestors’ refused to budge from the road block claiming that coronavirus is a conspiracy by the government and that the Chinese virus does not exist. Similarly, many Islamists on TikTok very actively and vocally advocated flouting social distancing norms and going to the mosque for prayers and hugging because ‘Allah will protect’. And while the Dalit leaders are a subject of ridicule, the Islamists were not.
Liberals and the mainstream media, when it came to the Muslim community, were working over time to whitewash the bigotry of the Jamaatis and sections of the Muslim community. However, when it came a Hindu person, the mainstream media and ‘liberal intellectuals’ had no compunction in mocking him for testing positive for the Coronavirus.
This only serves to reveal the differential treatment that is meted out to individuals based on their religious identity. And unfailingly, it is Hindus who get the short end of the stick. All the sermons that were issued about not criticising and mocking Coronavirus patients were swiftly forgotten when Arjun Ram Meghwal was diagnosed with the virus.
It is also pertinent to remember that NDA Rajya Sabha MP Ramdas Athawale was mocked as well when he came up with a harmless song on the Coronavirus. But when Islamic clerics and Christian priests and nuns are subject to the same mockery, they claim bigotry and accused others of being ‘hatemongers’.