In India, while Hindu relatives failed to attend the funeral of a woman due to fears of coronavirus, the Muslim neighbors stepped up to perform her last rites.
The absence of transport amid the lockdown in Indore, the Muslim neighbors carried her bier for cremation along with the woman’s sons.
The pictures of young Muslim men carrying her bier has been widely circulating the social media. The picture shows men wearing masks helped the two sons of the woman to arrange her last rites.
Congress spokesman Narendra Saluja informed the Indian media that these men carried her bier on their shoulders to cremation ground 2.5kms away.
The deceased was a 65-year-old elderly woman who died after a prolonged illness. Her sons reached home after her death.
Meanwhile, Kamal Nath, the senior Congress leader, and chief minister praised the kind gestures of Muslim men in a tweet in Hindi.
“It is praiseworthy that people from the Muslim community along with the woman’s two sons carried the body on their shoulders for her last rites. This has set an example in society. It reflects our Ganga-Jamuni culture and such scenes enhance mutual love and brotherhood,” he said in a tweet.
When asked about their humanitarian gesture, Muslim men said, they assumed it their duty to facilitate her last rites as they know this woman since their childhood.
An incident of communal harmony is reported at a time when Hindu extremists are manipulating the worsening crisis of coronavirus pandemic to stoke anti-Muslim sentiments in India. A few days ago, Islamophobic hashtags like #CoronaJihad circulated on Indian social media.
Love thy neighbour as thyself. 🙏 https://t.co/8WM4Ukhf3k
— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) April 7, 2020
The sensitive atmosphere for Muslims worsened after Indian authorities had linked the dozens of cases of COVID-19 to a Muslim missionary group that held its annual conference in New Delhi in early March.
The hashtag, ‘CoronaJihad’ appeared 300,000 times and potentially seen by 165 million people on Twitter.
Under the hashtag, several false videos of members of missionary groups were shared showing them misbehaving with Police. These fake videos were used to intensify anti-Muslim sentiments in India.
In one of the tweets, Muslims are referred to as “vile minded people” and listed hashtags, including #CoronaJihad and #TablighiJamatVirus.