On Friday morning, hundreds of anti-mask activists gathered at the Marine Drive in Mumbai to raise their voice against the government’s rule that makes it mandatory to wear masks in open public spaces.
The protestors questioned the mandatory mask-and-vaccine policy. They demanded that the government should end the lockdown. According to the protestors, they have the right to choose the treatment they want to get, and there should be no compulsion on them to get tested for the Covid-19 infection in any case.
Meet ‘Anti-Maskers’ of Mumbai.— Shivangi Thakur (@thakur_shivangi) October 3, 2020
These protesters came together under the banner of ‘Awaken India’ at Marine Drive on Friday against the government’s mandatory mask policy and demanded an end to the lockdown. #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/UyIkSNnQXn
The protest was supposed to occur at the Gandhi statue opposite Mantralaya at 11 am, but it was shifted to Marine Drive when police took away their banners and were forced to leave. 23-year-old activist Yohan Tengra said that people are facing breathing problems because of the masks. “We are not against people wearing masks, but it should not be forced upon them,” he added.
The anti-maskers across the world
In the last few months, the anti-mask movement is gaining momentum across the world with bizarre theories like they cause breathing problems, or it is a government’s propaganda to instigate fear among the masses. Amid the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, wearing a mask is one of the top precautions being suggested by the doctors.
In the United States of America, people are refusing to wear a mask, claiming they have health issues, or it is against their right to breathe freely if they wear masks. While most establishments across the world have “no mask, no entry” rule imposed, these anti-maskers are creating a problem for the business owners and putting people around them at risk of getting Covid-19 infection.
Involvement of Feroze Mithiborwala
One of the protestors that were raising voice against the mandatory mask order was Feroze Mithiborwala. He is researching the alleged New World Order for more than 23 years. Though, according to Mid-Day, he was not into the “conspiracy theories,” he believes that the fear that is being created around Covid-19 is only to put money in the pockets of big pharma and tech companies. “I am convinced that this virus is a bio-weapon that has been unleashed upon the world,” he added.
He alleged that N95 masks are a ‘sham’ and only create a placebo effect. In reality, according to him, wearing a mask is more dangerous as the person will breathe back Carbon Dioxide captured within the masks. He said, “If people feel they are safe wearing masks, then please do. But others who don’t feel comfortable, it shouldn’t be forced upon them.”
Controversies around Feroze Mithiborwala
Mithiborwala is not new to controversies. He was an active part of the anti-CAA protests that went for around four months before the lockdown was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the protests, he found the so-called uprising a welcoming move as “[Mumbai doesn’t] have student elections and politics like in Delhi.”
He was served notice under Sections 107 and 111 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for his association with the protests. He appeared before Assistant Commissioner of Police (Tardeo division) Vinay Gadgil, after which his lawyer said that the meeting went smoothly.
Mithiborwala also wrote an article in 2015 in which he alleged that the terrorist attack in France was fake. In his article, while talking in favor of the March of Unity, he said, “The ‘March for Unity’ has shown the way as to how nations should respond to mass psychosis and fear that are generated after massive terror attacks that are increasingly becoming the norm.”
According to him, the march reaffirmed people of France’s commitment to combat. “The marchers also reaffirmed their commitment to combat terror, religious fanaticism, racism, and hate-mongering by the anti-immigrant Neo-Nazis and sections of the corporate media. We also condemn the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish Supermarket, where 17 people lost their lives.”