Video grab shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on COVID-19 via a video message, in New Delhi. PTI photo
New Delhi: As coronavirus cases continued to mount across India despite the
nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted people on Friday
morning to switch off their lights at home and light candles, diyas or even display
their mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, to
demonstrate the country’s "collective resolve" to defeat the pandemic.
Mindful of the overenthusiastic response to his earlier appeal to people to show their appreciation for doctors, health workers and other essential services’ personnel by clapping, clanging plates and blowing conches during the March 22 "janata curfew", which led to some overzealous people crowding on the streets, Mr Modi asked people in his 11-minute video message on Friday to maintain the "lakshman rekha" of social distancing by staying indoors and not gather in groups, and to light the candles or lamps only from their balconies or
The PM told the nation that many people must feel alone over being at home during the lockdown, but they must realise the collective strength of 130 crore Indians was with each one of them. Once people everywhere light lamps or display mobile phone flashlights at their doorsteps or balconies, they will realise "we are all fighting with a collective resolve", and that "we are not alone".
The Prime Minister further said that this will send out a message that nobody among the 130 crore Indians is alone in this fight against the deadly infection.
"I have one more prayer to all of you, nobody has to gather at any place during this event. Everyone will light a Diya only at their doors, windows or balconies. The Laxman Rekha of social distancing must be followed," Modi said.
President Ram Nath Kovind also wholeheartedly endorsed the PM’s plea but said people should not let their guard down and maintain "social
In his address to the nation on March 24, the Prime Minister had announced a 21-day lockdown in the country to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, which has infected over 2,000 people in the country.
During the last "Mann Ki Baat" on COVID-19 related issue, the Prime Minister had apologised to the countrymen for taking the tough decision of enforcing complete lockdown in the nation. "My conscience says you will forgive me," he had said.
Last month, the prime minister had addressed the nation twice on March 19 and March 24.