Anti-social elements are posting objectionable videos on TikTok and WhatsApp asking people to flout all Coronavirus precautions. They are asking people to defy social distancing rules by hugging and shaking hands. Some of them are inciting people in the name of Islam by claiming that wearing of masks is un-Islamic. Some others are trying to link the pandemic with the NRC issue.
Most of these offenders appear to be active on TikTok where they post objectionable videos. In Malegaon near Nashik, Maharashtra, police arrested three such offenders who had described Coronavirus pandemic as 'Allah's anger' and 'Rab (God) ka NRC'. The offenders Abdul Rahim, Sufian Sheikh and Syed Hussain Ali have been arrested and sent to jail.
Now who will make these misguided youths understand that Coronavirus does not differentiate people on the basis of religion or race? Most of these TikTok videos have gone viral spreading messages of hate and superstition. Most of these videos try to link the current pandemic with the NRC, at a time when national unity is the need of the hour. It is clear that there are anti-national elements trying to score advantage out of the grave danger that is lurking on the health of our people. This is outrightly inhuman, to say the least.
While TikTok has promised to delete all such objectionable videos, it has pointed out that it would be helpless if people circulate these videos on other social platforms like WhatsApp. At a meeting at the Home Ministry on Friday, it was decided that stringent action will be taken against those posting such objectionable videos meant to create communal tension through baseless rumours. The state governments have been asked to take action. Such anti-national activities must be firmly nipped in the bud.
Those who think that government should take these social media pranks by a handful of youths lightly must understand the magnitude of the problem. The number of such pranksters or miscreants may be less, but their videos circulate at tremendous speed, mostly among the illiterate and lower middle class people. At a time when we require discipline and patience to enforce a lockdown successfully, such irresponsible action can have a multiplier effect and help in spreading the dreaded virus to millions of people.
The world has watched what happened in China, Italy, Spain and now in the USA, how errors of judgement led to the deaths of so many people. God forbid, if the pandemic becomes a community risk in India, there will be dead bodies lying on the roadside unattended. So, let us not take the action of such pranksters and miscreants lightly. They are igniting flames at a time when discipline is the need of the hour.
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