After tasking Indians with clanging utensils at 5 pm on the day of the Janata Curfew, because of the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a video message on Friday morning, asked citizens to “light up these dark times” by standing in their balcony or windows and lighting diyas or flashlights or even use the flashlights on their phone.
Modi said that people should also turn off the lights in their homes, he did not specify the reason, but it seems like it is for the visual effects.
The bartan clanging session on 22 March was a raging success and almost sounded like a collective pooja session — people improvised with conch-shells and bells, while birds, stray dogs and cats ran helter-skelter to figure out what was approaching to attack them.
The flashlight session too is likely to be a success, as bored people, with little else to do apart from housework, will likely take this up seriously making this a perfect photo-op — as if all of India were at a concert.
This is at a time when India is at the throes of the coronavirus spread. There have been over 2,000 active cases in the country, but the government has not given us the particulars about how many tests are being done per day, how many people have been quarantined, or how many functioning ventilators we have in the country.
As #Diwali and #9baje9minute began to trending on Twitter after Modi’s speech, it was filled with memes about what Sunday evening would look like.
Many trolled Modi’s followers for unquestioningly following what he asks for with funny and sarcastic memes.
While none of Modi’s addresses to the nation have had any important information, Twitter users also pointed that out.
Amid the coronavirus lockdown, thousands of migrants have had to walk home, have found themselves stranded on the road, beaten by policemen and sprayed with chemical spray. This Twitter user asked what will happen to those who don’t have the privilege of balconies.