India switches off power, and lights up to thank ‘Corona warriors’
Image Source: Twitter
New Delhi: Even as there were over 3,500 coronavirus cases on Sunday and the death count reached 83, India overwhelmingly responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call on Sunday night. Right at 9 p.m., Indians switched off lights and lit candles or flashed mobile torches for nine minutes to express solidarity with “Corona warriors”.
From metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai to tier two cities like Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior or Karnataka’s Mysuru, people rose above their political inclination to respond to PM Modi’s call and project a united front.
In the national capital, Prime Minister Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind lit divas. The PM, in fact, posted his photos along with a Sanskrit shloka. BJP President J.P. Nadda lit candles along with his entire family. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi released a video holding a candle in hand.
President Kovind with the First Lady and members of the family joined fellow citizens in demonstrating collective solidarity and positivity by lighting candles at 9 PM. He expressed his gratitude towards every Indian for showing resolve & resilience in the fight against COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/FdVscw07LR
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) April 5, 2020
शुभं करोति कल्याणमारोग्यं धनसंपदा ।
शत्रुबुद्धिविनाशाय दीपज्योतिर्नमोऽस्तुते ॥ pic.twitter.com/4DeiMsCN11
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 5, 2020
Modi’s mother Hira Ba too took part in this exercise.
— Nistula Hebbar (@nistula) April 5, 2020
Even senior police personnel like Noida Police Commissioner Alok Singh were seen lighting divas along with his family. Among business leaders, Biocon Chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw tweeted a photo, holding a candle. She said: “Lit the flame of unity for universal fight against COVID-19.” Diplomats like Maya Kadosh, Israel’s Deputy Chief of Mission, posted a video too.
Lit the flame of unity for our universal fight against COVID19- ? pic.twitter.com/TnUHSHj0vj
— Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (@kiranshaw) April 5, 2020
— Maya Kadosh (@MayaKadosh) April 5, 2020
However, it is the common men and women who led this initiative, regardless of their views on Modi and his policies. In housing societies, apartment balconies, residences, slum clusters, “normal Indians showed they care for those who care for them — doctors, nurses, and police personnel.
India, like most nations, is manoeuvering through a very delicate time with the nation of 133 crores on a 21-day-long nationwide shutdown, affecting supply of essential goods as well as people’s morale. While various sectors of the economy, especially hospitality and manufacturing industry, have already taken a beating, those who haven’t faced the economic ramifications are overwhelmed with the idea of working from home, often resulting in domestic confrontations or wors, as per as claimed by the National Commission for Women. However, in this hour of absolute crisis, the Prime Minister and his message seem to have worked well in containing the disgruntlement of people facing hardships who end up rallying around him, including those who have not necessarily voted for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
On Friday morning, PM Modi shared a short video clip, as announced by him earlier on Thursday, urging all to light diyas or candles or even flash flights in their balconies or outside their main gate, as a mark of respect to the Corona Warriors.
“I request all of of you to switch off all the lights of your house on 5 April at 9 PM for 9 minutes, and just light a candle, ‘diya’, or mobile’s flashlight, to mark our fight against coronavirus,” he said.
While it was dismissed as unnecessary by many and a diversion by the opposition, its emotional appeal rallied many Indians together immediately. A new hashtag – 9 baje 9 minute started to trend on Twitter almost immediately. And on Sunday, common people went to their balconies to light candles, as a symbolic move.