Equating citizens with God, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to 1.3 billion Indians in a video message released on April 3, requesting the entire nation to switch off all the lights for nine minutes at 9 pm on April 5 and light up a lamp, candle or torch to mark the fight against the Covid-19.
“I request all of you to switch off all the lights of your house on 5th April at 9 PM for 9 minutes, and just light a candle, ‘diya’, or mobile’s flashlight, to mark our fight against coronavirus,” said PM Modi.
“From time to time we recognise the strength of 1.3 billion people and that gives us strength in this fight against coronavirus. We have to take those who are the most affected by this crisis — the poor, the weaker sections — towards hope and light. This Sunday, April 5 at 9 pm, I want your 9 minutes. 1.3 billion people of the country should switch off the lights of their homes, stand at their doors and light candles, lamps, torches or their mobile flashlights.”
A video messsage to my fellow Indians. https://t.co/rcS97tTFrH
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 3, 2020
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 4, 2020
Janta curfew and clapping for coronavirus fighters
Previously, the Prime Minister had asked the country to observe a janata curfew on March 22. The day had been marked by the people thanking all medical professionals, health and sanitation workers and other professionals who were in the fronline battling against the deadly coronavirus by coming out in their balconies at 5 pm.
When the clock struck five on March 22, the entire nation participated in clapping hands, beating utensils and bursting crackers to thank all the people who are working tirelessly to keep them safe in midst of the coronavirus crisis.
“We will clap our hands, beat our plates, ring our bells to boost their morale and salute their service,” Modi added.
#WATCH: People come out on their balconies to clap, clang utensils and ring bells to express their gratitude to those providing essential services amid #CoronavirusPandemic, in Mumbai, Maharashtra. pic.twitter.com/dIzBYF5ELq
— ANI (@ANI) March 22, 2020
On March 29, PM Modi addressed the nation again in his Mann Ki Baat program. In this radio show, he apologised to the nation for the 21-day nationwide lockdown saying that the restrictions on movement have inconvenienced the people but tough decisions were needed to “nip the disease in the bud”.
Modi said that questions such as why the PM “has put everyone in such trouble” may have arisen but he stressed that there was no option but to impose lockdown to help protect the 1.3 billion people from the virus.
Emphasing the importance of social distancing, PM said that health is the only way to happiness in the world. “Aarogyam param bhagyam, swasthyam sarwaarth sadhanam, that is good health is the greatest fortune,” the PM said.