One can fully appreciate how grave India’s coronavirus crisis might be when educated people are not only not following the lockdown, but also actively asking people to break it.
An Bangalore-based techie, who is allegedly an Infosys employee, has been arrested after urging people on social media to spread the coronavirus. “Let’s join hands, go out and sneeze with open mouth in public. Spread the virus,” Mujeeb Mohammad had posted on Facebook while updating his profile picture. “Spread the word to end the word,” he had written.
Mujeeb Mohammad’s Facebook profile said that he worked at Infosys, and his post went viral on Twitter. People began tagging Infosys asking the company for a clarification around why their employee was urging people to spread the coronavirus. The man’s LinkedIn profile also showed that he was a Technical Architect at Infosys.
At this point, Infosys tweeted that it was investigating the matter. “We are deeply concerned with an inappropriate post being attributed to an Infosys employee. We strongly reaffirm our commitment to responsible social-sharing. Our preliminary enquiry, and discussions with our employee suggest that this could be a case of a mistaken identity,” Infosys tweeted. “However, given the seriousness with which we take such matters, we are investigating this further and will also assist with any independent investigation. The company would take appropriate action based on its investigation,” it added.
By this time, an alleged screenshot from Infosys’ internal employee portal also began circulating on Twitter, showing the Mujeeb Mohammad to be an Infosys employee.
It has now transpired that Mujeeb Mohammad in custody. Local Karnataka TV channels are reporting that Mohammad has been arrested by the police.
All this while, several “educated” people have openly flouted quarantine instructions as India has been placed under lockdown. An IAS officer in Kerala was suspended after leaving for Bangalore after being asked to quarantine, and a Google techie’s wife had allegedly traveled from Bangalore to Agra while she was supposed to be in quarantine. But Mujeeb Mohammad’s case is different — instead of just flouting regulations, he appeared to be urging people to actively sneeze and spread the virus. What his motivations were will likely be revealed during investigations, but India appears to be getting let down by its supposedly educated elite as it battles the coronavirus.