Screengrab from PM Narendra Modi's video message, calling for people to light diyas and candles in the face of Covid-19 | ANI
Screengrab from PM Narendra Modi's video message last week, urging people to light diyas and candles | ANI
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video message to the nation Friday morning, urging people to turn off their lights for nine minutes at 9 pm on 5 April and light a candle or a diya or even use the flashlight to mark the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic drew myriad responses, as usual.

While BJP leaders, Union ministers and some celebrities hailed this move and reiterated the PM’s message on their own Twitter handles, many who have opposed the government, including senior Congress leaders, criticised Modi for not speaking about key issues regarding the Covid-19 battle, nor addressing the exodus of migrants during the lockdown.

Light diya of reason, not superstition

Senior Congress leader Kabil Sibal said the PM’s video message told people nothing about the government’s steps to containing the coronavirus, protect medical practitioners, provide testing kits, deliver food and supplies to the poor, or anything about migrant labourers’ financial situation.

“Light the Diya of reason. Not that of superstition,” advised Sibal, the senior advocate and former Union minister.

Former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram said he was willing to light diyas on 5 April, but wanted Modi to listen to the counsel of epidemiologists and economists. Chidambaram further stated that he expected more clarity on steps taken by the government towards livelihood packages to the poor as well as steps to arrest the economic slide.

“Symbolism is important, but serious thought to ideas and measures is equally important,” was Chidambaram’s advice to both Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

However, Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha, while acknowledging that the PM had not covered many issues regarding Covid-19, also said “to criticise him (Modi) for trying to cheer people up is being petty and puerile”.


Also read: Modi speech motivates Indians, he should also assure them on doctors’ safety, healthcare


‘Pradhan Showman’ and the ‘tubelight’

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor called Modi the “Pradhan Showman”, and said he heard nothing about how to ease people’s pain, burdens, financial anxieties or the vision for the future.

“Just a feel-good moment curated by India’s Photo-Op PrimeMinister,” exclaimed Tharoor.

This did not go down well with BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, who responded by saying that the Congress should remain in darkness and not light a candle in solidarity with India. He also told the party to turn off its ‘tubelight’.

Poems and songs

Lyricist and ad guru Prasoon Joshi wrote an ode to igniting hope, supported Modi’s call to fight the darkness of the Covid-19 disease. He went on to even post videos of himself reciting the poem.

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal quoted Sanskrit scripture to reiterate Modi’s words requesting people to fight darkness and light diyas.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan said because of the PM’s message, people of the country have been filled with a new energy. And by lighting diyas and candles, there will be a feeling of positivity in people’s minds.

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta paid “homage to this morning and our PM”, posting K.L. Saigal’s 1943 classic song ‘Diya jalao’. Mehta has often been critical of the Modi government.

Actor Taapsee Pannu, also a liberal voice on social media, seemed excited at the prospect of a new task to do amid the nationwide lockdown.


Also read: Modi’s 9-min candle plan Sunday: Needless spectacle or much-needed motivation for Indians?


 

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11 Comments Share Your Views

11 COMMENTS

  1. So pathetic that some politicians and leaders are biased to Modi’s actions. It’s so very sad that they have still not understood this man. He is indeed a God sent man to this mundane earth. He is the DESTINY of INDIA. But all these are going to be proved wrong very soon. They may have to pay a very heavy price for their negative thinking on PMModi

  2. It is extremely sad that some politicians and other leaders have still not understood PM Modi. He is a God sent man to this mundane earth. He is the DESTINY of INDIA. He knows what he is doing. Pathetically even educated people target PM. But these same people will cut a very sorry figure and may have to pay a very heavy price for their negativity. God only can save such people. “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”

  3. When everything fails to contain Corona …When the so called civilised mind and latest technology can’t do anything.
    Let’s listen to the Leader of the Nation, this is not time to do politics again. Very much disappointed reading this article. The print media should highlight the rich culture, unity of Nation and positive hope of people of India, not to hail opposition political parties who speak logic now.

  4. When everything fails to contain Corona …When the so called civilised mind and so called latest technology can’t do anything but to remain fear.
    Let’s listen to the Leader of the Nation, This is not time to do politics again. Who don’t want a situation if Corona is controlled and life is brought back to normal. Think and believe positively . The print media should highlight the positive hope of people of India, not to hail opposition political parties and those who speak logic now, against the traditional values of people of this country .. And now is the time not to get TRP rating too. Very much disappointed reading this article.

  5. Lighting Diya Is Our Tradition.Not Only To Dispel Darkness And Evil.But Also The Evil Designs Of Delhi Rioters.CAA Protesters.Jaamats And Patans.

    • Yes well said. When everything fails to contain Corona, When the so called civilised mind and latest technology can’t do anything.
      Let’s listen to the Leader of the Nation, this is not time to do politics again. Very much disappointed reading this article. The print media should highlight the rich culture, unity of Nation and positive hope of people of India, not to hail opposition political parties who speak logic now.

    • When everything fails to contain Corona …When the so called civilised mind and latest technology can’t do anything.
      Let’s listen to the Leader of the Nation, this is not time to do politics again. Very much disappointed reading this article. The print media should highlight the rich culture, unity of Nation and positive hope of people of India, not to hail opposition political parties who speak logic now.

  6. It was a sad moment! Expected a better statement from a statesman. I felt that the government has thrown its hands up against the Corona war. I was feeling that it was a pied piper moment! Modiji, you are great. Keep it up and let’s do something constructive and creative instead of lighting lamps in the balconies or standing there. Hope you will treat us the way we treat you!

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