• Aslam Abdullah

The Shadow of Death lengthening in India

The US, India, Brazil, France, and Russia account for over fifty percent of cases and 40 percent of deaths related to COVID-19. But the data is not reliable as Brazil, India, and Russia do not provide accurate information. The USA and France manipulate the data. India leads in deceptive data. With 17 million officially reported cases until April 24, India does not have the infrastructure to count its COVID-19 infected victims or dead bodies accurately. According to Times Now, in a crematorium in Madhya Pradesh, the workers cremated 94 bodies in a day, but government data reported only three. On April 21, when India officially reported 21,32 COVID deaths, more than 3,000 bodies were being burned in Ghaziabad, one of the districts of the Northern State of India.

In India, people are dying on streets, in hospital corridors, in their homes, and in clinics for a straightforward reason, lack of adequate facilities. For 90 months, India's power elite focussed on inciting masses against Muslims and other minorities, justifying the demolition of the Babri Masjid, promoting the lynching of their enemies, and devising plans to strip non-Hindu Indians of their citizenship. They neglected the health infrastructure, educational institutions, and agriculture sectors. Instead, they devoted national resources to building statues and temples.

In 2020, when COVID-19 invaded India, they first blamed the Tableeghi Jamat for its spread. Later they asked the nation to drink cow urine and eat cow dung. Finally, they asked the country of 1.3 billion to beat the plates and burn candles to drive away from the deadly disease.

They did not practice safe distancing or wearing masks. They did not prepare them for the looming disaster. Their hospitals lacked oxygen and beds to handle the anticipated surge.

On the contrary, they urged people to celebrate their festivals with great fanfare and visit their temples freely. They organized election rallies breaking all the rules of safety.

The festival of Holi drew millions in the streets with no precaution. With over 10 million people from across the world with no masks, the Kumbh Mela became the superspreader. The devotees spread the COVID-19 when they returned to their homes, transmitting it to everyone they met on their way.

The current situation is likely to worsen in the days to come.

Epidemiologists project the following scenario in India until August 2021. If you have relatives in India, please advise them to be cautious and careful. There will be a shortage of wood to burn dead bodies, and the burial grounds may be overcrowded. Death may rule over India as India's health system has collapsed. The scientists predict that

1. COVID-19 would spread like wildfire in India

2. 150 to 200 million may be infected

3. Up to 150,000 death may occur

4. From May 1 to May 10, half a million may infect daily

5. From May 11 to May 25, one million may infect daily

6. Average 4,000 deaths daily in the country in May

These are official estimates. Unofficially, experts say that the numbers may be ten times higher. Unofficially the number of deaths may be around 20,000 daily, and the number of infected people maybe 3 million a day.

The one community that has stood out distinctly in its fight against COVID-19 is the Muslim community. It has turned many of its mosques into clinics for COVID-19 patients. Its members owning oxygen-making facilities have made oxygen cylinders accessible to all free. When private hospitals have tripled or quadrupled the admission fees, Muslim doctors have been offering free treatment and facilities to COVID-19 patients. The young men of their community are helping low-income families cremate the dead as people from upper castes are refusing to touch the bodies of the so-called lower castes.

The disaster is the ruling party made. India must hold its nationalist power elites responsible for it. If the world continues to give legitimacy to the current rulers, India will face devastation unseen by humans. Behind it will be the hatred that the power elites generated against their people based on their faith, neglecting their responsibilities to serve them.

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