New Delhi: The war in the epic Mahabharata was won in 18 days but the fight against coronavirus will take 21 days, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he urged people to follow the nationwide lockdown that he announced Tuesday night.
“Mahabharata war was won in 18 days, but the battle which the entire country is fighting against coronavirus will take 21 days. Our aim is to win this war in 21 days,” he said while interacting with the people of his parliamentary constituency Varanasi through video conference Wednesday.
The PM further said while the Mahabharata war was won under the guidance of lord Krishna, 1.3 billions citizens of India will help the nation fight against Covid-19.
There will be hardships in the coming days as the country is facing an unprecedented challenge in the form of coronavirus, but we will have to fight this war by following all the rules of lockdown, the PM added.
“If I say that everything is fine, then I would be lying to myself. The central government as well as the state governments have been working round-the-clock to fight coronavirus.”
“I have full faith in state governments that they will take care of their people. But even during a normal situation, we face certain problems, sometimes there’s no water, sometimes no electricity, safai karamcharis (sanitation workers) go on leave. We have all experienced it. When the country is faced with such a major challenge, we are going to be confronted with some problems. To say everything will happen perfectly will be lying to ourselves,” he said.
Modi stressed on the fact that despite all these problems, India will have to emerge victorious.
‘Doctors are gods for us’
The PM said while some gaps may be there, but merely to highlight them is not the right approach.
“I agree, there might be some gaps but to only highlight them, will demotivate those who are working for us. Nirasha phelaane ke hazaaro kaaran ho sakte hai, but jeevan toh asha aur vishwaas se hi chalta hai (There could be thousands of reasons to spread bleakness, but life moves with hope and belief),” said Modi as he urged people not to put pressure on the administration.
Asking people to stay away from rumours and fake news, Modi said they have tied up with WhatsApp to disseminate information regarding coronavirus. “If you write ‘Namaste’ on this WhatsApp number, either in English or in Hindi, then you will get an immediate response,” he said. The number is 9013151515.
Concerned over reports of mistreatment of doctors, and those working with airlines, Modi said he has asked the Home Ministry to take strict action against those not supporting or cooperating with doctors. “If you also notice such incidents, stop them immediately,” he added.
Praising the work done by the doctors, paramedical staff and nurses, Modi said: “Healthcare professionals working in white uniforms in hospitals are like god for us today, they are saving us from the disease. They are saving us by risking their own lives”.
‘Corona ka jawaab karuna se…’
Modi once again stressed on maintaining social distancing and said one could fight coronavirus by staying indoors.
“Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor. It will not spare anyone merely because they perform yoga or exercise daily. I request people to understand facts and not believe in rumours,” he said.
Modi said as the MP of Varanasi, he should be with the people of his constituency in times like these.
“But you know the things that are going on in Delhi. Despite being busy here (Delhi), I’ve been taking regular updates about Varanasi. He also said that in such times of crisis, it is the people of Kashi (another name of Varanasi) who could lead the way and teach the country patience, compassion and peace.”
To a question on how to take care of economically weaker sections of the society in these difficult times, Modi said whoever has the capability should pledge to take care of nine families in these 21 days.
“Corona ka jawaab karuna se dena hoga. Hum gareebo ki taraf karuna dikha kar ek kadam ye bhi le sakte hai. Yehi sachi aradhana hogi (We have to fight coronavirus with kindness. We can show kindness to the poor people. This will be the true form of worship). Due to the lockdown, even animals are facing problems and we should try and provide them food and take care of them,” he added.