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Where is the Sense of Responsibility? BJP Desists from Protests; Shaheen Bagh Protestors Brazen It Out

Shaheen Bagh, COVID 19

Protest and right to dissent are certainly guaranteed in a democracy, and no one should be prevented from protesting against what one feels is right. In the midst of the ongoing fight against COVID-19, drastic measures have been taken voluntarily by several organizations to prevent the virus’ spread. However, there are continued signs of stubborn, irresponsible behaviour even with the repeated advisories from the government of India on avoiding large crowds.

Shaheen Bagh Protestors Find CAA Bigger Problem than COVID-19

Protestors in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh have continued their protest even with the strong advisories on social distancing and isolation being issued by the government. The Tribune reported how women protesting at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) feel that the CAA is a bigger threat than COVID-19.

The Tribune reported more than 500 women sitting close to each other on 17 March 2020 despite the coronavirus threat and advisory of the Delhi government. The protest site does not have any facility to wash hands, and none of the protestors covered their mouths with masks.

The women at Shaheen Bagh evaded responsibility for contact spread of the infection, stating that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure their healthcare.

Sofia, a woman protester, said: “We have to fight the coronavirus as well as the CAA. The CAA and the NRC are more dangerous than the coronavirus so we will continue our fight. We won’t withdraw the protest amid fear of getting infected.”

This particular ‘Shaheen Bagh syndrome’ seems to have spread to some other parts as well, endangering the lives of others.

Picture in Contrast – BJP Calls Off All Protests for a Month

In a sharp contrast, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J P Nadda told the media today that BJP had decided not to hold protest for 1 month in view of coronavirus outbreak.

This decision came in after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 March 2020 addressed the Parliamentary party meeting and expressed his desire that due to COVID-19, the party should avoid any type of agitation, dharna, demonstration. “Keeping that in view, the BJP has decided that for the next one month the party won’t participate in any agitation, demonstration,” Nadda said.
Further, all party units have been asked to spread awareness about COVID-19 among small groups of people, including the do’s and don’ts that can help to arrest its spread within India

Responsible behaviour is essential, as put out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and doctors at large, to arrest the spread of COVID-19 across the world. While responsible organizations and groups like the BJP have decided to create any possible scenarios that can cause mass spread, irresponsible groups like the protestors of Shaheen Bagh, despite having issues with the government policies, are adamant about their protest. In fact, they are stating that the government has to ensure relevant facilities to prevent COVID-19, completely washing their hands off any responsibility. Should an outbreak or spike now arise in Delhi, and the source traced to Shaheen Bagh protest site, who will be held responsible for the fiasco?