'Corona Crossword': Dainik Bhaskar Attempts to Communalise COVID-19 Pandemic

The clues to the crossword are loaded to criticise the Tablighi Jamaat and praise PM Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: If you thought solving puzzles could be fun during the lockdown, Dainik Bhaskar, one of the biggest Hindi dailies, has other plans for you. In an attempt to further communalise the coronavirus pandemic in India, the daily published a crossword on April 7 that amplified the role of Tablighi Jamaat’s cluster and also heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Newslaundry reported some of the crossword questions as follows:

“Which association’s negligence led to a surge in coronavirus cases in the country? (4,3)”

“Who is the head of the Islamic association in Delhi that gathers thousands of people? (3,2)”

“Which building in Delhi was sealed after a gathering of thousands of people?”

“The maulana who gripped thousands of Jamaatis with coronavirus can be given _________ punishment.”

The clues, the national daily claimed, were to promote self-quarantine and increase awareness about COVID-19. “The chain of coronavirus will break if you stay at home. This corona crossword will increase your knowledge,” the daily claimed.

The “corona crossword” was published in the daily’s editions for Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh and New Delhi. It was not carried in its Rajasthan editions.

Some other clues ostensibly intended to increase awareness about corona vilified the Jamaat.

“Which state bordering Delhi has found 13 positive cases of coronavirus among 88 people from the Jamaat?”

“In the active, restricted foreign members of the Tablighi, 33 are from this country.”

“Provoking thousands of people against countering coronavirus by the head of an Islamic association is very __________.”

“Coronavirus cases shot up when members of the Jamaat reached this southern state.”

Also Read: India’s Tumultuous History of Epidemics, Religion and Public Health Policy

Curiously, the crossword maker thought it fit to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the same space. Here are some of those clues.

“The reason for fewer coronavirus cases in our country is the _______ solutions taken by our government. (3)”

“Our prime minister has made _______ attempts to not break the morale of our countrymen. (4)”

“The decision to impose total lockdown is ________ but there is no other solution besides it.”

“The biggest democracy that has taken timely action to stop coronavirus.”

“The primary objective of lighting diyas at 9pm on Sunday is to bind the countrymen into a thread of ________.”

“The act of lighting a diya will lead us to the light from the ________ of coronavirus.”

“The prime minister is constantly interacting with us to increase the _______ of our countrymen.”