In a bid to promote communal harmony, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi temple has started providing sehri and iftari to Muslims quarantined in Katra, Jammu, during Ramzan.
The move comes amidst the coronavirus crisis, with over 500 Muslims quarantined in Katra's, comes as Muslims around the world await the end of the holy month of Ramzan. In a video shared by Hindustan Times, cooks wearing preparing the meals in large pots and pans to serve those in the quarantine centre. As per the report, the shrine has been serving two meals a day to help Muslims amid the pandemic.
Ashirvad Bhawan was turned into a coronavirus quarantine centre by the shrine body in March, even as the number of cases had just started to spike in India.
As per the CEO of the shrine's board, Ramesh Kumar, the shrine had been providing the traditional sehri and iftari meals all through the holy month of Ramzan, even as the government in Jammu and Kashmir decided to bring back migrant Kashmiris from other states.
As per reports, most of the people quarantined at Ashirvad Bhawan were migrant workers.
Even as Muslims around India are waiting with baited breath for the end of Ramzaan amid the lockdown, many were left stranded in quarantine centres. For many, Ramzan is a time to get closer to God, family and community, but the pandemic has upended those traditions.
The move won the hearts of netizens, many of whom claimed this was the face of real India.
Amazing to see a religious shrine give back to the society during difficult times. And serve agnostic to their religious affiliation!! 👍🙏— Santosh K (@santoshukamath) May 22, 2020
Good Cause.Let humanity prevails throughout the world.— Mujeeb jubair (@JubairMujeeb) May 22, 2020
In wake of the news, bigoted users communalised the issue and slammed authorities at Vaishno Devi for their decision to help minority migrants stuck in quarantine.
While most reacted warmly to the news, some on Twitter responded with Islamophobia. The news also attracted communal trolls who slammed and mocked the temple board for helping the minority community. Some demanded to know if mosques would perform similar services for Hindus. Others lashed out vitriol at Muslims in wake of rising COVID-19 cases, many of whom were linked to a religious congregation held by Tableeghi Jamaat it is Markhaz headquarters in New Delhi's Nizammudin.
Sure...let mosques serve clear and pure food for people going on pilgrimage to vaishao devi and other Hindu pilgrimage !— Krishna (@Preetiapril) May 23, 2020
I have never heard of any mosque that hosted any kind of hindu traditions— Desi (@Star_Lightt01) May 22, 2020
Quarantine centre mein khana to khilyenge na . Media ab usse "food serve kiya" bhi bol sakti hai ya "iftaari ". Jai ho Indian journalism ki Food served = Not sensationalIftari served = mudda + reaction— Sirfsach (@Sirfsach3) May 22, 2020
Vaishno devi board is stuffed with money.. Hope they also provide income support to poor priests atleast in j n k who r suffering amidst this lockdown... Ya woh news headline nai banege!!— Rohit - ਰੋਹਿਤ (@stupiddentist) May 23, 2020
The tweets indicate increased hostility against Muslims, even as the cases of COVID-19 swelled to 125,000 with over 3700 deaths.