‘Islamophobia of Gulf Indians’
UAE’s Princess Hend Al-Qassimi has criticised social media posts by an Indian expat working in the Emirates, blaming Muslims of coronavirus. “The ruling family is friends with Indians, but as a royal your rudeness is not welcome,” she wrote on Twitter. “All employees are paid to work, no one comes for free. You make your bread and butter from this land which you scorn and your ridicule will not go unnoticed.” She also posted a section of Emirati law regarding hate speech which, she said, applies to both UAE nationals and non-citizens. In an interview to an Indian TV channel, Al-Qassimi spoke of the offensive tweets but acknowledged that the comments were not representative of all Indians.
Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Pawan Kapoor, has warned Indians over there about “Islamophobic” posts. In a tweet, Kapoor said, “India and UAE share value of non-discrimination on any grounds. Discrimination is against our moral fabric and the rule of law. Indian nationals in the UAE should always remember this.”
Delhi colony scared of COVID hospital
New Delhi’s Defence Colony residents are worried as the Delhi government-run Nehru Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital in their area has been dedicated exclusively for coronavirus patients. It is in the heart of the colony, which has a large population of old people. “A safe distance is enough to prevent spread of the virus,” agreed a senior citizen. “But it is more psychological that may impact our minds.”
Major (Rtd) Ranjit Singh, president of the Defence Colony Residents Welfare Association, told The Sunday Guardian: “We have written a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal about the risks associated with shifting Covid-19 patients to Nehru hospital. We have also asked the government about how equipped the homeopathic hospital really is. So far, no sanitization process has been carried out and there is free movement of vehicles. There is a need to dedicate a route for the hospital so that residents and visitors can avoid it.” The RWA has asked residents to sign an e-petition which will be sent to the Lieutenant Governor and the CM to cancel this hospital’s status for Covid-19 patients.
Taming poverty tough
Post the coronavirus crisis, it is unlikely that India will be on course to decimate poverty. This is the view of Dr Ashok Kumar Jain, Principal Consultant, NITI Aayog, and his associate, Dr Rajan Kotru, Lead Strategist, Redefined Sustainable Thinking, Palampur (HP).
Talking to The Sunday Guardian, Jain and Kotru said that Covid-19 has sent all socio-economic growth projections to a toss. The situaion “makes it unlikely that we will be on course to decimate poverty.”
They said that the government has shown tremendous resolve to counter the fallout by a range of socio-economic packages ranging from direct cash transfer to the poor and farmers to free food to the needy. “The developed world will be less likely to fulfil its committed funding and other obligations to developing and least developed nations for reaching Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” they said, adding that the governance standards will need to reach towering heights as the defining factor for taming poverty post Covid.
Car rally thanks Indian-American doctor
An Indian origin woman doctor, Uma Madhusudan, who is treating Covid patients in the US, was recently thanked by patients’ families by holding a car rally in front of her residence. A video widely circulated online shows Madhusudan standing in front of her home as cars drive past, honking and cheering for her. A convoy of about 200 vehicles included police cars and fire brigade trucks. Neighbours stood holding “Thank You” placards. Madhusudan studied at the JSS Medical College (1990 batch) in Mysuru (Karnataka) and is currently employed at South Windsor Hospital in Connecticut.
Don’t demonize Indian Muslims
The other day, my Bengaluru-based entrepreneur friend, Syed Ashfaq Peeran told me, “Many of us are worried as some people are trying to demonize our community.” He also sent a brief but strongly worded statement that he and many top Muslims community leaders had signed. It read: “Events of past few months which culminated in the Tablighi Jama’at disaster have been very disturbing for the community. The media is seizing and projecting every opportunity to demonize Muslims as a homogenous entity. Some of our own people have exacerbated the situation by irresponsible and ill-informed comments which have been used as instruments of further vilification. We need to act NOW to apply the corrective on issues that demonize us every day. As a community, we need urgently to apply the corrective so our children can hold up their heads as proud Indians within the ambit of best Islamic teachings. We seniors want to pave the way so coming generations can take their rightful place in this land.”
Apart from Ashfaq Peeran, it was signed by Saleem Shervani, former External Affairs Ministers, Prayagraj; Dr Syeda Hameed, former Member Planning Commission, Delhi; Javeed Ahmed, IPS (Rtd), former DGP UP, Lucknow, among others.
Man Mohan can be contacted at email@example.com