"Figures tell the truth," said RSS Joint General Secretary Manmohan Vaidya on Monday, 6 April, referring to the number of COVID-19 cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi. He said the Tablighi Jamaat members have been "exposed" and even people belonging to the Muslim community are "opposing" them.
“A number of Muslims are also helping government officials in tracing their contacts which should also be appreciated,” Vaidya told reporters in Delhi.
The health ministry had on Sunday said the rate of doubling of COVID-19 cases in India was 4.1 days, but if the cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event would not have happened, it would have been 7.4 days.
Citing the RSS' decision to call off the annual meeting of its highest decision-making body – Partinidhi Sabha – Vaidya said that Tablighi Jamaat could have also called off their congregation.
‘Sangh Also Cancelled Their Meet on 15-17 March’
“Everyone agrees that the number of cases is increasing because of this (Tablighi Jamaat) event. The figures tell the truth. If the leadership had stepped in and contained the spread of the disease by cancelling the event, it would have been good,” Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Sah Sarkaryavah (joint general secretary) Manmohan Vaidya said in the live press conference.
Vaidya highlighted the call made by the RSS to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“In contrast, the Sangh had also organised a meeting on 15-17 March, which happens every year and was scheduled to happen in Bengaluru. Around 1,500 karyakartas were going to attend it. But even before the lockdown was announced, the RSS leadership understood the seriousness of the situation and took a timely decision to cancel the event,” he added.
He further added that the Muslim community was also helping to fight the spread of the disease, “Muslims are helping the administration in being able to locate those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event and are not coming out.”
Lauding the decision taken by the country's leadership to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, he said India handled the COVID-19 situation comparatively better than developed nations. "To tackle COVID-19 outbreak, India's leadership took some decisive steps which got public support," he said.
Listing the works of the RSS during this time, Vaidya said in about 26,000 locations across India, about 2 lakh karyakartas of the RSS were helping around 25 lakh families with food, essentials, and other things.
Specifically speaking about Uttar Pradesh, Vaidya said that accommodation and food for 8 lakh stranded migrant workers were arranged by the karyakartas of the RSS in UP. “The RSS also worked along with the UP government to arrange 5,000 buses to ensure the migrant workers reached home,” he said.
Keeping in mind the importance of social distancing to contain the spread of COVID-19, the leadership of the Sangh has decided that all activities that involve the participation of groups have been cancelled right up to June, he said.
(With inputs from PTI)