Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday addressed the nation once again. In his 15-minute speech, he spoke about the need to stay vigilant as the government eased lockdown restrictions. However, what has triggered a row is the omission of an important Muslim festival from his speech.
While speaking stating the names of festivals to be celebrated by Indians between now and November, Modi said, “From July onwards, the atmosphere of festivals begins to develop. Now see, we have Guru Purnima on 5 July. Then Sawan (month of Hindu calendar) will start. We will then have 15 August, Raksha Bandhan, Krishna Janmasthami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam. If you move further ahead, we have Bihu, Navaratri, Durga Puja, Dashehra, Dipawali, Chatth puja. These festivals increase both our needs and expenditure.”
Many took to social media to enquire about the obvious omission of Eid from PM Modi’s list of festivals to allege that he had deliberately kept a Muslim festival out. Eid-al-Adha also known as the Eid of sacrifice or Baqrid is set to be celebrated by Muslims around the world either on 31 July or 1 August.
Modi excluded ‘EID’ like shah excluded ‘Muslims’ in Citizenship Act. Sabka saath?
— Friendlass. (@___VintageSoul) June 30, 2020
Modi took name of every festival that is to come in coming days n months….named chatt puja twice( Bihar election)..except..Eid -ul-azha !
— Atmanirbhar PETROL (@The_Othered_One) June 30, 2020
— जीशान Zeeshan ذیشان (@zeeshan_plus) June 30, 2020
Faced with allegations of Islamophobia in India in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Modi had earlier this year made an extraordinary statement of religious harmony. He had expressed his solidarity with Muslims in the ‘Holy month of Ramadan’ sharing the difficulties faced by people fasting amidst the coronavirus pandemic. PM Modi said in his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat that he was aware of Muslims facing difficulties in this Holy month.