It is surprising that when the Supreme Court is hearing on a daily basis, cases related to Covid emergency requirements to abate the number of casualties due to the devastating second wave, it shies away from addressing the main cause for spreading of the pandemic – public gathering of huge number of people throwing Covid social distancing norms to the wind under the garb of protests.

North India, particularly places in and around Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh has seen a huge rise in Covid cases, leading to severe stress on medical infrastructure and is also recording large number of fatalities even as of today.

The very occurrence of this phenomenon in these areas could be traced to the massive public gathering at Punjab-Delhi borders, in Western UP and Haryana in the name of Farm Law protests from December 2020, when the pandemic was well under control in India.

Even as Delhi is reeling under the pandemic and losing lives in hundreds every day, we have so-called farmer leaders like Rakesh Tikait saying that the pandemic is a hoax created by PM Modi to stop “protests” and march 15,000 more “protestors” towards Delhi from May 5th.

Journalist Swati Goel Sharma and social activist Sanjeev Newar filed a petition in the Supreme Court on 28th April seeking an order for a complete ban on all protests in all States and Union Territories of India, as gathering of crowds in times of pandemic rove to be superspreaders.

The Supreme Court has not yet bothered to hear the case, leave alone give suo motu orders to ban all protests and gatherings which only worsens the spread of the pandemic. These superspreader events infect the whole society at large, and any government in the world would not be able to provide hospital facilities or LMO if three-fourths or half of its citizens get infected due to sheer careless behaviour under the garb fundamental right to protest and freedom of expression.

The so-called farmers protests under the garb of fundamental right to protest during a raging pandemic, encouraged by the Supreme Court is actually responsible for multitude of deaths due to these superspreader events. While the courts and media objected to the spiritual Kumbh Mela event where Sadhus take a dip in the holy Ganges and disperse soon after and do not squat there for long hours or indefinitely like the politically motivated farmer protests.

Why is it that when the Courts object to religious gatherings and political rallies for elections, they turn a complete blind eye to the so-called farmer protests and other protests taken out by people of certain commnity seeking be-heading of Waseem Rizvi and Yati Narasinghanand?

These are pertinent questions to be asked of the Supreme Court and the court needs to take the petition for ban on protests in India at the height of deadly pandemic in a war footing, otherwise how much ever it tries to rap the central government and state governments to augment Liquid Medical Oxygen supply, Covid care centres, hospital facilities and vaccinations; the demand would only increase exponentially and so would the deaths.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.