LAHORE - In the wake of relentless wave of hatred against the Muslims unleashed by the Narendra Modi-led government, there have been reports that the politically driven detestation had taken a communcal colour.

According to the reports, the vegetable and fruit sellers were abused and were stopped from selling their goods just because they happened to be Muslims. While the lockdown situation had already made it all the more difficult for a common man to earn his living, the Muslims in India had greater challenges before them. They had to face animosity not only from the authorities but also from the society that had been poisoned with hatred against Muslims by the BJP leaders.

In many of the published reports in Indian media, the ruling party leaders had held Muslims responsible for the spread of the coronavirus. One of the vegetable seller who experienced this communal hatred in the garb of coronavirus spread, tells his story, “We had gone to a village to sell vegetables. Over 100 people came to buy in 15 minutes. About 10-15 people had already bought from us.

Vegetable sellers were abused, stopped from selling because they were Muslims

Then some other people came and said ‘these people are Muslims so don’t buy from them. The vegetables we had sold were returned to us. For two days we have not stepped out. Those men were saying we were Muslims and had images of the crescent moon (Islamic symbol) on our vehicles. They also claimed we were members of the Jamaat and were spreading coronavirus,” he added.

According to an Indian police official, there were more than  17 such cases reported in Mahoba district. There had been incidents where Muslims were accused of spreading the virus deliberately. Videos were made to circulate on social media where Muslims were shown spitting on food, licking plates and sneezing to mould the majority of people's opinion against the Muslims. While the secular elements in India consider these cases of communal hatred lamentable, they are of the opinion that it was the government's responsibility to take action against those who were responsible for spreading such hatred, but it was highly unfortunate and deplorable that the government was fanning hatred instead of curbing it.