Worried about the social alienation of their community because of anti-Muslim messages in the social media and ”categorisation by the government and the media as `Tablighi Jamaat cluster” while reporting the number of people affected by Covid-19 in the state, Muslim political leaders say there will not be any political fallout in the 2021 assembly elections due to this.
They also said the economical fall out of the Coronavirus and the action taken by the government — state and the Centre — would be the electoral issue in the next year”s assembly elections in the state.
“The manner in which the state government classified the Covid-19 patients and the reporting by a section of the media has resulted in the people maintaining ”community distance” instead of social distance,” MMK party leader M.H. Jawahirullah told IANS.
“The whole Muslim community is being shown in a wrong way by the media. Members of other communities are looking at Muslims with suspicion – whether they had attended the Delhi conference and could they be silent carriers of Coronavirus,” K. Navas Kani, Member of Parliament from Ramanathapuram belonging to IUML told IANS.
As on Monday, 671 persons have been tested positive for Coronavirus infection in Tamil Nadu.
Out of which 570 persons are those who had attended the conference organised by Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi. Close relatives and contacts of those have be infected by the virus.
According to the government, about 1,500 people from Tamil Nadu had attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference while majority of them have returned the remaining have been quarantined in Delhi.
Kani said a general fear psychosis has been created against Muslims in many rural areas.
With many Muslims into business such an attitude will lead to loss of business for them.
Condemning some Muslims for trying to organise large number people for Friday prayers, Jawahirullah said if any foreigner has violated the Indian visa rules then action be taken against him.
According to Kani, the police and health officials can act in a better manner when they visit the homes of a Coronavirus infected person to check the family members.
“They health officials accompanied by police come in vehicles and act as if they are catching an accused. The already suffering family will face the stigma,” Kani said.
Citing the withdrawal of anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests by the community mainly to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Kani said the community leaders had asked those who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference to self-report to the health authorities for medical tests.
Though the Coronavirus impact will be there in the state for next couple of months, Muslim political leaders are of the view the virus spread will slow down and there will be no political fallout in terms of alliance parties looking at them as an electoral liability and consolidation of Hindu votes in the state.
“The economic impact of the lockdown — job losses, business shutdowns- and the measures taken by the government in helping out the poor and others would be the focus point during the 2021 elections,a Kani said.
“The general anger will be against the government,” he added.
Meanwhile political analyst Kohala Srenivaas said the Tablighi Jamaat connection may result in the polarization of Hindu votes in a small way.
“There will not be any change in the DMK-led alliance. The DMK after losing the assembly elections twice in succession will not take any risks. Similarly, there will not be any change in AIADMK alliance. Only if Rajinikanth floats his party there may be changes in alliance,” Srenivaas told IANS.
Citing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami”s appeal not to give communal colour and detest Covid-19 patients and their family members but extend love and warmth Jawahirullah said it for the political parties to take this message to its cadres.
He does not see any negative impact in the assembly elections.