We must be wary of divisive forces amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Jun 30, 2020, 07:08 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

We must be wary of them, for they will try to use different agendas to pressure the state government to lift restrictions

Ervad Kaizad Karkaria, head priest at the Rustom Faramna Agiary in Dadar, says that those not wearing a mask will not be allowed to enter. People will have to sanitise their hands and no more than 20 people will be allowed in the Zoroastrian place of worship at any given time
Ervad Kaizad Karkaria, head priest at the Rustom Faramna Agiary in Dadar, says that those not wearing a mask will not be allowed to enter. People will have to sanitise their hands and no more than 20 people will be allowed in the Zoroastrian place of worship at any given time

Cleanliness is next to Godliness goes the adage and most of our bigger religious institutions seem to have taken that to heart, with administrative heads of different religious places, saying that they have basic sanitising facilities in place for if and when worshippers will be allowed access.

It was heartening to read that most of these influential administrators who can set an example for the community said that they are following all government guidelines, including awaiting the green light for reopening these places of worship to the general public.

It is important that we do not be hasty when it comes to places of worship, festivals or religious celebrations of any and all denominations. While most will adhere to rules and regulations, realising the importance of deferring gatherings or restricting access to these places in the larger interest, there will be those that will try to push back against such decisions.

We must be wary of them, for they will try to use different agendas to pressure the state government to lift restrictions.

One strategy may be getting the public riled up or trying to organise protests so that the government may be forced to cave in.

The other may be to spread communal disharmony. This may happen by trying to make people believe that one religion is being given leeway while the other is not.

While this is a familiar pattern it is also, unfortunately very effective as a portion of people will start believing permissions are partisan and start planning revolts.

Now is the time to reject divisive forces, to demolish fissures created by deliberate design. Believe that safety and good sense is above all and everything.

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