Times Now has been receiving backlash on social media for an article published by the news channel on Friday. In the article titled, ”Covidified’ Diwali: Decorate your homes with these ‘Corona Rangoli’ designs’, Times Now could be seen promoting the idea that having ‘Coronavirus’ as a decoration symbol in Rangolis was the new normal.
The article was published on the occasion of Dhanteras, a day prior to the celebration of Diwali. The article notes, “A major part of the festivities is when we sit outside our houses and create beautiful and colourful ‘Rangoli’. It is said that this is created in order to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, who represents prosperity and joy on an auspicious day like Diwali.”
Times Now conceded that the purpose of Rangoli is to bring in good luck, joy and prosperity. But in the succeeding paragraphs, the article read, “Albeit large gatherings, with the lovely decorations in our homes, the ongoing pandemic cannot have an adverse impact on the festive feeling. Speaking of rangoli designs, a lot of designs are available on the internet that is inspired by the current circumstances brought about by COVID-19. A lot of ‘corona rangolis’ have also been made by people across India.” As such, it is inconceivable as to why the news channel will encourage decorating homes with Rangolis, resembling the deadly Coronavirus that has claimed more than 1.3 million lives worldwide, in the succeeding paragraphs.
Netizens call out the bizarre suggestions of Times Now
Netizens were irked at the blatant desecration of Rangolis on the occasion of Diwali. One user wrote, “Dear Vineet Jain (owner of Times Group), please stop dictating people on how to celebrate festivals; I am requesting you with folded hands. Festivals are not social awareness campaigns. May you and your loved ones have a great day and I hope that my request will be considered.”
Dear @vineetjaintimes sir,— #SacheinSathyajithNair🇮🇳 (@SacheinS2606) November 14, 2020
Please stop dictating people on how to celebrate festivals; I am requesting you with folded hands🙏#Festivals are not social awareness campaigns.
May you and your loved ones have a great day and I hope that my request will be considered.
One user pointed out that Rangoli is made to welcome Maa Lakshmi into the house. She questioned Times Now that with this stunt, are they asking Hindus to invite Coronavirus into the house.
Do you fools even understand the science and the purpose of rangoli?— Dextro (@Dextrocardiac1) November 13, 2020
It always has feet of lakshmiji symbolising her आगमन into the home, are you suggesting families should welcome corona?https://t.co/xqo56PzSwN
Another user pointed out the bigoted nature of the article and said that he would report it to Twitter.
Toxic bigots everywhere. Reporting these idiots as well. https://t.co/hVnBcOZHsU— Sriraam P (@SriraampA) November 14, 2020
Another user, Sourav Singh asked, “Amazed with stupidity of a media house. How do you hire such fools and what actually are qualifications to write such bizarre articles? Do you have any idea why Rangoli is made in a particular way? BS”
Amazed with stupidity of a media house. How do you hire such fools and what actually are qualifications to write such bizarre articles? Do you have any idea why Rangoli is made in a particular way? BS! https://t.co/pnM3UOBkpM— sourav singh (@souravssingh87) November 14, 2020
Tired of virtue-signalling during Hindu festivals, Twitter user (@Aadhivaseel) wrote,” Fine, Diwali is not an awareness programme and it is a Hindu festival. Let people enjoy as per thier cultural norms. Don’t try to exaggerate. Please”
Fine, Diwali is not an awareness programme and it is a Hindu festival. Let people enjoy as per thier cultural norms. Don’t try to exaggerate. Please https://t.co/uZR76C1Mht— தங்கபுஷ்பம் (@Aadhivaasee1) November 14, 2020
Preeti Sharda said that she would not use a genocide tool of Coronavirus, unleashed by China, to decorate her Rangolis.
No… I have covid I don’t want to decorate with a genocide tool unleashed by china— Preeti sharda (@pritsee) November 14, 2020
It must also be mentioned that social media activism about air pollution gains momentum, prior to Diwali, but the activism subsides as soon as the festival is concluded.