The authors of the book ‘Essentials of Medical Microbiology’ on Sunday conveyed their apologies and assured changes in the demeaning statements about the role of Tableeghi Jamat (TJ) in reprint of their book. This book is the reference book for the second year of MBBS course.
The issue came to light after Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) highlighted the misrepresentation of the events in the Epidemiology section of the book. SIO spoke with Jaypee Publications, demanding removal of the content. Following which, Dr. Apurba Sastry and Dr. Sandhya Bhat, the authors wrote a clarification.
The third edition of the book contains a chapter about how COVID-19 spread in India wherein the authors state that the TJ cluster was an important causative factor for the spread of COVID-19. However, there has been no Epidemiological study that corroborates such a claim. There were many large socio-political events and gatherings at the said time period in India. But the TJ was vilified and demonized by various media outlets and groups.
The Supreme Court and various High courts have condemned such misrepresentation of TJ gathering. The Supreme Court even asked the concerned authorities to undo the damage done. In the same spirit, SIO demanded that the authors apologize for the mistake and take down the problematic part from the book as it paints the community in a negative colour. Raafid Shahab, Secretary, SIO South Maharashtra, said, “The publishers and authors are responsible for their action. They should do their work with honesty and research. We should also think about how easily fake news can brainwash our society.”