Saturday, June 06, 2020


Religious institutes should involve in fight against COVID-19—Dr P.C.Sharma

April 06, 2020 01:41 PM

CHANDIGARH: Efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 is marred by the counter-productive attitude exhibited by some religious communities. Hence, religious institutions should bring in the frontline to mitigate the impacts of the most difficult challenge. In this way much needed guidance and support is extended to the community at large through religious institutions, says Dr P.C. Sharma, eminent museologist and environmentalist. He further said that Himachal Pradesh has over 10, 000 religious institutions and 38 temples are governed and controlled by the government.

It is also noted that some religious groups still hold gatherings that negates the efforts of the government to contain the disease. The government faces in dealing with such ‘Jammat.’ The government of various states had registered cases against Tabligi Jamaat that held congregation in total violation of lock down. Such religious community reminds believers to fear only Allah and flock at places of worship. Dr Sharma said that these Orthodox people continue to hold gatherings in a bid to intact their faith and fight has turned between COVID-19 and faith.

Unfortunately, in this hour of mitigation the disease, religious communities are the most vulnerable to virus transmission. The government should not ignore the factor of religion in its fighting against COVID-19. Religion greatly influences community perspectives and attitudes toward any emergency and have strong authority to rectify the incorrect religious understanding of disaster management. Their calls both structural and cultural can fend off fatalistic understandings in responding to the pandemic outbreak.

“Religious institutions are often more effective than civil servants in conveying the government’s messages to the community, ” believes Dr Sharma. This kind of religious cultural approach would enable the community to understand and accept the government’s call in national interest, he added.

Religious organizations in the state also have significant power and influence in the society and their services should be utilized in this hour of need by the government. Dr Sharma has written letters to the governor and chief minister of the State in this respect.  Remember, this pandemic can develop beyond the government’s control, so it requires all forces and elements of society to fight together.

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