Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman on Wednesday took to social media to make an appeal to all his fans that they must listen to the government's advice and maintain self-isolation, pointing out that "this is not the time to cause chaos by congregating in religious places".
Rahman's appeal comes in the wake of the news that the Islamic missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat held a congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin area defying authority guidelines in mid-March, which has resulted in a rapid spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus all over the country.
The musician in his Twitter appeal also thanked "the doctors, nurses, and all the staff working, in hospitals and clinics all across India, for their bravery and selflessness". He also appealed for unity among all people, and spoke of the beauty of humanity and spirituality.
Rahman wrote this on his official Twitter handle @arrahman:
"This message is to thank the doctors, nurses, and all the staff working, in hospitals and clinics all across India, for their bravery and selflessness. It fills one's heart to see how ready they are to deal with this most dreadful pandemic. They risk their lives to save ours.
"It's time to forget our differences and unite against this invisible enemy that has turned the world upside down. It's time to bring the beauty of humanity and spirituality into action. Help our neighbours, senior citizens, the underprivileged and migrant workers.
"God is inside your heart (the most sacred shrine), so this is not the time to cause chaos by congregating in religious places. Listen to the government's advice. Self-isolation for a few weeks may give you many more years. Do not spread the virus and cause harm to fellow humans. This disease does not even warn you that you are a carrier, so don't assume you are not infected. This is not the time to spread false rumours and cause more anxiety and panic.
"Let's be kind and thoughtful, the lives of many millions are in our hands."
Rahman's appeal received ready support on Twitter by many of his followers, including actress Shraddha Kapoor who used the platform to encourage people to contribute generously in the various COVID-19 funds.
"Your small contribution is also important to fight. Donate to poor people directly or donate to CM Relief Fund or PM Relief Fund," tweeted @shraddhakapooro.
Fans thanked Rahman, and appreciate his gesture.
"Let's fight this battle together ! But by social distancing," wrote @amGSKsakthi.
"Thanks a lot Sir for spreading positivity," tweeted @keerthi94rsk.
Some made an appeal for help in these times of distress. "Sir please help my family," wrote @Mohamme76317867.