Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged people across India to switch off their lights and hold candles, lamps and mobile flashlights at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, for 9 minutes in a nationwide show of solidarity, to fight the darkness of coronavirus.
“On April 5, Sunday, at 9 pm, I want 9 minutes from all of you. Turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or balconies and light candles, diyas (lamp) or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes,” PM Modi said in a video message.
“We must all together, challenge the darkness spread by the coronavirus crisis, introducing it to the power of light. No one is alone during the lockdown, the collective superpower of 130 crore Indians is with every citizen,” he said.
A video messsage to my fellow Indians. https://t.co/rcS97tTFrH
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 3, 2020
The Prime Minister asserted that people should not endanger their lives to battle against the highly contagious virus by gathering on roads. “Please do not go out on to the roads, lanes or your localities, do it at the doorstep or balconies of your own homes. One must never cross the Lakshman Rekha (boundary) of social distancing. The only way to break the chain of coronavirus is to maintain social distancing,” he said.
In his previous call for a Janata Curfew on the Sunday of March 22, the gesture of applauding coronavirus warriors defeated the purpose of social distancing when people started assembling on roads and even taking out processions.
“We must all go through this darkness together. Those who are most affected by this are the poor and the marginalised. To overcome this darkness, we must all unite to spread the light. Make this darkness of coronavirus meet the light we all spread,” the PM said.
This was the PM’s third address to the nation on the coronavirus pandemic and the second call for a collective gesture of solidarity after the clapping and clanging of utensils during the Janata Curfew. He said nations were following India’s example.
The nation is in the second week of the total lockdown he had announced on March 24 to contain the spread of COVID-19. India has more than 2,300 coronavirus cases, including 56 deaths.
At a meeting on Thursday afternoon with Chief Ministers, PM Modi asked for a common plan to ensure the staggered movement of people after the national lockdown ends. “It is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once the lockdown ends,” he emphasised, urging states to come up with suggestions.