Sunday, May 28, 2023
Support Our Journalism
HomeIndiaNumerology to religious references — Modi’s call to light candles floats mystical...

Numerology to religious references — Modi’s call to light candles floats mystical theories

From the importance of number ‘9’ to how heat kills the coronavirus, people came up with all sorts of theories to support PM Modi’s move.

Text Size:

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday urged the nation to light candles and diyas for nine minutes at 9 pm Sunday to “defeat the despair” brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

In his previous address on 19 March, the PM had asked people to clap, ring bells or clang utensils to applaud the healthcare personnel, who are treating Covid-19 patients.

At that time, several people on social media were quick to come up with a host of different theories about ‘bartan’ clanging and clapping, including Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who claimed that vibrations from clapping and blowing conch shells would reduce coronavirus potency.

This time too, many people shared different theories on social media about how lighting candles and diyas can kill the virus.

Number 9 theories

In a forwarded message doing the rounds on WhatsApp, “PM’s numerology” over number 9 was mentioned — the announcement was made at 9 am Friday morning, which lasted 9 minutes, and the lighting of candles will take place on 5 April (5+4 [the month of April]=9) at 9 pm for 9 minutes.

The message further said Modi’s address coincided with the 9th day of the lockdown, and on 5 April, there would be 9 days left for the 21-day lockdown to come to an end.

A screengrab of the WhatsApp forward
A screengrab of the WhatsApp forward

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor even Tweeted, saying Modi is invoking “auspicious elements Hinduism associates with number 9”. 

Also read: Coronavirus doesn’t stop Indian Army from carrying out its annual cyber security exercise

‘Masterstroke by PM Modi’

There were reports about whether PM Modi had any fondness for number five, similar to earlier theories about whether he has any obsession with number eight.

A Twitter user called the PM’s move a “masterstroke”, saying switching off lights will produce massive amount of heat that will eventually kill the virus.

There were others who linked the move to Hindu festival Vamana Dwadashi.


A video has also been doing the round on Twitter in which Dr K.K. Agarwal, former president of the Indian Medical Association, shared his theory to support PM Modi’s plan.

He said the PM’s request for everyone to come together and light diyas is based on “Yoga Vasistha Chapter 6”, referring to the principle of collective consciousness. 

“If we all can collectively think that coronavirus doesn’t infect the ACE2 receptors in our body, then collective consciousness will make sure that it happens,” he said in the video.

ACE2 is the host cell receptor responsible for mediating infection by Covid-19.

Also read: India isn’t on top of list for coronavirus test kits suppliers


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism


  1. Confusion worst confounded. Ancient ‘science’ of numerology, astrology and soothsaying could have been employed to prevent it from happening in the first place.

  2. I don’t go for the number 9 hocus pocus. But, Modi is a good leader who can rouse up his troops.

  3. Covid 19 must be more serious than we thought … That it is. A matter of judgment whether it should be fought with science or numerology. From my father I inherited a great love of astronomy, not to be confused with astrology.

  4. With a population of 130 crores there will always be cranks, crazes and people who read more into the message than required. But as a minuscule fraction, why is it so important to give it space in your publication? You have not given the views of the vast majority of Indians, who see this as something which will bring them together in this time of stress. A bit of balance required? Maybe?

    • Cranks, crazes and people who read more into the message than required are the majority of India.
      People who can filter fake news are a very small minority in India.
      The press has to keep showing examples of fake news and how to verify because the schools sure don’t tech those skills.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular