Two women doctors suffered injuries in their legs on Wednesday when a team of health officials were attacked with stones in Indore's Tat Patti Bakhal area when they went to locate people reportedly infected with the novel coronavirus.
Veteran Urdu poet Rahat Indori speaks to Salik Ahmad on the incident, the controversy around Tablighi Jamat gathering, and other things. Indori wrote the lines, "Sabhi ka khoon hai shaamil yahaan ki mitti mein, kisi ke baap ka hindostaan thodi hai (Everyone’s blood flows into its soil; no body owns this country),’ which became popular during the anti-CAA protests.
Health workers were attacked recently. As a resident of Indore, how do you feel?
I hang my head in shame because of what happened in my city. These people are our protectors. They had come to check on our health and to help us. Everybody is shocked at the way they were treated. Indore is a very cultured city. The incident brings a bad name to not just Indore, but the entire country.
But why did it happen?
A message went viral on WhatsApp 4-5 days ago. It said doctors are specifically approaching Muslim youth and injecting them with drug meant for coronavirus patients. The youth would then be taken away and locked up. This rumour created a lot of fear among the people. Police must find out who started it.
Another controversy is raging around the Tablighi Jamat gathering that happened in Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi. What are your views on it?
The attendees were stuck there and looking for a place where they could stay. There were no buses, no trains, no planes, where could they go? If you’re outside and a thunderstorm strikes and you take shelter in the nearest community hall, what wrong have you done? Does it make you a human bomb?
It’s very irresponsible to link it with a mosque or a temple or a gurudwara. Coronavirus is a calamity upon all of us. We must all fight it together. The Tablighi Jamat people must be treated as any other Indian would be. I don’t like this language where one group is described as praying, and the other as hiding. Or where one is a refugee, and the other an infiltrator. It’s beyond my understanding.
How are you spending time at home these days?
I haven’t stepped out of the house for three weeks now. A devout Muslim, I'm praying to Allah that this coronavirus goes away.