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Amid a Raging COVID Pandemic, Leaders Are Spreading ‘Hate Virus’

At a time when people are dying, some BJP leaders are spreading the ‘virus of communal hate and lies’.

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Video Editors: Vivek Gupta, Shubham Khurana

Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘young’ and ‘energetic’ MP from the Bengaluru South seat, Tejasvi Surya, is in the middle of another controversy related to communal hatred.

While the country is grappling with the surge in the number of COVID cases, Surya is spreading the ‘hate virus’, which isn’t something new but keeps surfacing in new forms time and again, and several others get infected by it.

Even at such a time when people are struggling to find ICU beds and queues at crematoriums are longer than those at the time of demonetisation, the virus of hate and lies seem to have become unstoppable.
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From Bengal to Bengaluru, communal hatred is being spread on a wide scale. At a time when the focus should be on vaccine management, treatment of COVID patients and meeting the demand of oxygen, some politicians and actors are spreading hatred. When systemic delays of every minute cost people their lives, how do rulers find the time to spread hate?

According to government figures, more than 2.5 lakh people have died in the country due to coronavirus till Wednesday, 12 May. In the period of 12 days, between 1 May and 12 May, there have been more than two deaths every minute. The supply of oxygen may be slow but hatred is being spread speedily.

On 4 May, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and three BJP MLAs stormed into BBMP’s COVID War Room and read aloud a list of names. These names were of Muslim employees and officers working in the war room. Surya accused them of committing a bed allotment scam. However, no supporting evidence was found.

Later, Surya apologised for his behaviour. But does his so-called "innocent" apology do any good? What about the heinous crime of disturbing the control room? Who will take accountability of patients who suffered the delay in getting beds due to this disturbance?

The numbers of these employees were leaked on social media, which resulted in them receiving threats. Why does the government not punish Surya for this act? Is he entitled immunity because of his position?

This is not the first time Surya has made headlines for being involved in such an act. Earlier, he had called protesters of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act “puncture wallahs”.
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Communal Angle Even on Death

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On the other hand, Amit Malaviya, head of BJP’s IT cell, remains unaffected by the visuals of overwhelming crematoriums and the gatherings for the Kumbh Mela. He thinks the major problem now is why no one is talking about the crowds offering namaz.

After their defeat in the Bengal Assembly elections, the BJP is so engrossed in spreading hatred that they have managed to bring in a communal angle into the post-poll violence. While tweeting a video, West Bengal BJP General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, specifically wrote that TMC’s “Muslim goons” are beating up BJP’s women workers in Nandigram.

However, local sources in the region, while talking to The Quint, said that the video Vijayvargiya shared was of a personal dispute, and it had nothing to do with politics.

A video shared about the violence in Bengal on the official Facebook page of the West Bengal BJP claimed that a party worker was killed by people associated with the TMC. However, the person whose picture was shown in the video is actually a journalist named Abharo Banerjee. Quashing these claims, Abharo himself tweeted that he is, in fact, alive.
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Along with being in denial, leaders continue to keep the people distracted, leading to this country being entangled in a ‘Hindu-Muslim conflict’. Who would tell the hate-spreaders that the Tablighis, who were condemned as “super spreaders” and accused of “corona jihad”, have been donating plasma and are now performing the last rites of their Hindu comrades who have died due to COVID-19. And, those who were called “Khalistanis” are now organising “oxygen langars”.

In such times,, people are bound to ask - Janaab, aise kaise?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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