By: Bashir Alam
We are blessed with the religion which has stiffen the societies with the aspects of camaraderie and benevolence, but at the same time, efforts have been put to make it retrogressive and interpreted wrongly with octogenarian thoughts by so called sacred clergymen in Pakistan. As a pioneer of secular Islam, Qauid-e-Azam had kept the religion out of the business of politics in the fledgling government and imparadised his views about the position of religion to public. But his early departure left a vacuum for stakeholders who had views in opposition to Jinnah’s and successfully embedded the religion with State business. From then on, religious clerics have never held out the helping hand to civilian governments, rather disregarded its authority whilst trying to be obscurantist on all matters.
This class has never allowed the state to integrate progressive approaches based on reasoning and logic, rather left no stone unturned stifling critical thinking and scientific knowledge in a modern society. We have seen civilian governments bowed to religious pressure of clergy fearing the threat of riots and immense street power.
As the country grappling with Covid-19 outbreak, clergy appears to be non-serious as usual, attempting to impose bogus self-interpretations of Covid-19: some attributing it with divine wrath others publicising it with US waged bio war to counter growing economies, especially China. The signs of inane conceptions upped when senior clergies of the country proclaimed that the state would invite ‘God’s wrath’ if it would restrict worshippers praying in mosques during the month of Ramdan.
The story of clergies stubbornness doesn’t end here.
At the onset of the disease, government officials had appealed to Tableegi Jamat Leadership to call off the religious event, which was to take place in the first week of March at Riwand Lahore. But it remained obstinate over the decision and arranged a mammoth congregation. Around 150000 people arrived to participate in the event from all over Pakistan including 3000 foreigners.
Hardly, consultation of government with Tableegi Jamat leadership ended up successfully and the event had to cut short for three days, which was meant to continue for fifteen days. But things were gone out of gear already.
Government issued directives hastly to test and quarantine every single member of the Tableegi Jamat when the result of 95 members came positive for corona viruse out of 2500. The secreening of the members was done on suspicious bases. After the event, members of the Jamat took the virus away to other parts of the country, as a result new cases started increasing fast everywhere.
In sheer responce to Tableegi Jamat attitide, Deputy Commissioner of Lahore region termed them responsible for spreading Corona Virus through out Pakistan. International media has also blamed Pakistan over dissemination of cases in other countries like Egypt, Malaysia and Palestine, because members of the Jamat who returned to their countries came positive for corona virus.
While the country has been wrestling with Tableegi Jamat’s frivolousness, the most popular religious groups came out with the announcement in which they appraised the government of their defiance intent to decision pertaining with the closure of mosques in the month of Ramadan. Mufti Muneeb-Ur-Rehman of Deobandi and Mufti Taqi Usmani of Barelvi Jamat informed the government of their collective decision through a press conference in Karachi. Just next day, taking few steps farther, senior clergies of Islamabad and Rawalpindi even warned the government of worst consequences if the authorities would retain the original decision related to Mosques during the month of Ramazan.
The overnight violent moves of religious parties arouse panic in government circles. Therefore, the mosques were promptly exempted of the lockdown – terminating the decision in hurry. The government’s overnight action to appease orthodoxy left several questions to answer over the writ of state; those questions may be reside under unconscious layer of personality of all nationals.
On the other hand, doctors and paramedics of the country have warned the government that they will give up to jobs if the government would not ensure security of the people enforcing emergency measures. They implored for putting the country under complete lockdown for a certain period as the disease on fire by engulfing innocent paramedic staff beside other people. Medical experts denounced federal government decision pertaining to opening the mosques with novel SOPs. They expressed their concerns over Clergies’ incomprehension of the graving threat to public health. They were of the view that it will be impossible for the worshipers to comply with precautionary measures once the prayer halls would be filled up for Tarawee prayers. Actually Medics are worried of Mullas’ demeanour.
Some incidents at corona centres happened to be alarm for government that eventually exposed the governments’ assertions of being serious to public care. Patients who were being held in corona centres near Taftan border for treatment escaped to homes after roaring about lack of required facilities. Most of the corona centres are so cramped and filthy that they are swarmed with patients. The grimy environment of corona centres can be the cause to kick off havoc and become the next epicenters for contagious disease to spread.
Like Corona Task Force, government should also establish a special committee to handle Mollas, who are influencing the decisions from behind the scene, and describing nauseate recipes to cure corona virus. In addition, government should listen to the medical experts when it crafts strategies to contain Covid-19 spread; they should be given the task to formulate future plans conceptualising the whole context in which corona virus succinct itself deeper. For that purpose, it should announce special packages to lift the feeble medical infrastructure of the country, just as it did for other sectors.
Doctors and nurses are more vulnerable to catch the disease because they are fighting the war at frontline in hospitals providing remedies to patient. Therefore, government should make available personal protective equipment (PPEs) to doctors, nurses and other paramedic staff in abundance. It should also ensure access to basic needs of life, such as, clean drinking water, toilet facilities, single rooms to every corona patient at centres.
We must pray to Allah to seek forgiveness of him for all our sins and ask for his blessings so that we will get divine healing from Him. Our Lord! bestow clergies with fragrance of prescience and tolerance who are betraying the state all the time.