Delhi: Diwali seemed to come several months early this year, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a symbolic show of solidarity against coronavirus through light Sunday became a larger than life event.
Lamp lighting gave way to photo shoots, diyas led to firecrackers, and for a moment one forgot there was a pandemic around the world. Here’s how Twitter reacted to last night’s “festivities”.
The man of the moment, PM Narendra Modi, flagged off the evening, sharing images of him lighting lamps.
शुभं करोति कल्याणमारोग्यं धनसंपदा ।
शत्रुबुद्धिविनाशाय दीपज्योतिर्नमोऽस्तुते ॥ pic.twitter.com/4DeiMsCN11
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 5, 2020
Many of his party colleagues, such as Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, MP Swapan Dasgupta and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, also joined in.
At home, 9pm: lighting diyas for some moments of mindfulness and thinking of our community, even as we work day and night as one nation. #IndiaFightsCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/o9gZvNXTfE
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) April 5, 2020
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) April 5, 2020
Two diyas – one for me and the other for my 88 year old mother who could not be at the door.
Joining an expression of mass solidarity. India stands united as never before.
Jai Hind#9pm9minute pic.twitter.com/Ul7YjMpHNk
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) April 5, 2020
Thanking the #SanitationWarriors
India’s sports community were vocal in their support, with Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Kaif and Rohit Sharma thanking the selfless personnel fighting the pandemic and asking people not to go out on the streets to celebrate.
My family & I thank the selfless #SanitationWarriors cleaning our surroundings & hospitals, disinfecting affected areas & thus keeping the virus at bay. Let’s also reignite our pledge to take care of our elders, the most vulnerable – by ensuring their physical & mental wellness. pic.twitter.com/tTheS9oO4I
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) April 5, 2020
To, all the doctors, medical staff, sanitation workers, govt. employees, police and army personnel, media personnel, bankers, essentials’ shopkeepers and all other warriors fighting #COVID19
We are in your debt and ever thankful. 🙏🏻
Jai Hind! 🇮🇳#9baje9minute #9बजे9मिनट pic.twitter.com/eD3EW1ZISj
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) April 5, 2020
Stay indoors India, don’t go out on the streets celebrating. World Cup is still some time away 🙏
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) April 5, 2020
Badminton champ P.V. Sindhu also chimed in.
— Pvsindhu (@Pvsindhu1) April 5, 2020
‘Reminiscent of an IPL match’
US scholar Michael Kugelman was quick to point out that the symbol of solidarity through candlelight had somehow turned into a show of fireworks…
It appears that Modi's call for India to turn off the lights in an effort to promote solidarity has caused a lot of fireworks. Literally.
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) April 5, 2020
For Samir Saran, ORF President, it was rather reminiscent of an IPL match.
#IPL stock used … #Firecrackers
— Samir Saran (@samirsaran) April 5, 2020
Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor was also perplexed by the crackers.
People are bursting crackers. Just FYI . They dogs are freaking out. Do people think it’s Diwali? I’m so confused.
— Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamakapoor) April 5, 2020
But Hindi film veteran Amitabh Bachchan was fascinated with what India’s “aerial view” looked like…before Congress leader Salman Nizami pointed out it was a fake image.
The World sees us .. we are ONE .. https://t.co/68k9NagfkI
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) April 5, 2020
And this is FAKE, sojao sir 😂
— Salman Nizami (@SalmanNizami_) April 5, 2020
For South Indian film superstar Rajinikanth, the evening was a moment of solidarity and unity.
#StayHomeStaySafe #Solidarity #Unity #IndiaFightsCoronavirus 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/4LSSsfpVFa
— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) April 5, 2020
‘Minds of people have been officially enslaved’
Congress members Srivatsa Y.B. and Gaurav Pandhi were highly unimpressed with the night’s proceedings, as they alleged it proved a collective loss of scientific temperament.
Srivatsa posted a series of tweets highlighting the violation of lockdown rules across the country by people “celebrating” the night.
Breaking News : UNESCO has just declared India's Prime Minister as the best Event Management expert in the world.
Go Corona, Corona Go… pic.twitter.com/91UkNHmIDj
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) April 5, 2020
This man has brought down the scientific temper of country like never before. The minds of people have been officially enslaved to have been bursting crackers and celebrate as if it's a festival and we are not in the midst of a deadly pandemic. I feel sorry for my country! 🇮🇳
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) April 5, 2020
Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill took part in the lamp lighting, but also voiced his criticism of the government — in a rather unique way.
9 diyas-Lit up 1 Diya for “Motivation”,1 in memory of lives claimed by #Covid_19– 7 when Govt focuses on “Preparation”:
3. Free Testing
6. Loan Waiver on EMI for salaried class
7.Employment protection#9baje9mintues pic.twitter.com/pkdgG8ikQn
— Jaiveer Shergill (@JaiveerShergill) April 5, 2020
Bollywood director Ram Gopal Varma also took the opportunity to light up…but not quite in the way you would expect.
9 PM pic.twitter.com/EuZhMv9BVP
— Ram Gopal Varma (@RGVzoomin) April 5, 2020
‘This is my country’
Meanwhile, BJP leader Amit Malviya tried to push aside naysayers by pointing out how inclusive the show of solidarity against coronavirus really was.
ये मेरा देश है… #9pm9minute pic.twitter.com/LcA5qxWCAL
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) April 5, 2020
Did it actually work, asked former J&K Chief Omar Abdullah, in a sarcastic tweet.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 5, 2020
Janata Dal leader and former Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy had a more pressing concern: Was the evening chosen for the lamp lighting coinciding with the eve of the founding date of the BJP a coincidence?
Has the PM slyly asked the nation to observe a candle light vigil on the eve of foundation day of BJP? April 6 being its foundation day, what else can explain the choice of date & time for this event? I challenge the PM to offer a credible scientific and rational explanation.
— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) April 5, 2020
“There is no Mightier county than the United States of America!
There is no other country more Advanced in technology, science, medicine , pharmacology and industry than USA!
There is no country of the size and prosperity of the scale of USA!
There is no other country with more high quality and ranked and rated universities and winners of Nobel prizes than USA!
And yet despite having had it’s first Covid 19 infected patient as long ago as end of January 2020, there is no other country that has lost and loosing as many lives as USA does and will do as time passes by!
What’s happening is an anathema to Logic, Rationale, and the basic instinct of Survival!
How sad that this macho country that has dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that was responsible for the death of about 5 Million Koreans, about half a million Chinese in the Korean War, over three million north Vietnamese people and fighters, over a million South Vietnamese and over 55 thousand USA soldiers killed and perhaps a hundred thousand injured, hundreds of thousands killed due to the many wars and regime changes conducted by USA around the globe, millions of people bleeding in different ways due to the economic terrorism in the Name of unilateral sanctions imposed by USA against the charter of United Nations organisation,
Is seen helplessly prostrating before the accidental, otherwise insignificant, one in millions of varieties of viruses abounding the world, the SARS-CoV2 causing the infection named Covid 19?
How strange the educated, rich and prosperous people of USA, even if by electoral college votes, have elected a president as decadent and as despicable and abhorrent a man as Donald John Trump?
And how strange that the voting majority that did not vote this despicable man lay low suffering him?
Had USA collaborated and sought cooperation of China, prepared for the onslaught of Covid 19, USA could have been in a much better state from the unfortunate suffering it is going through the deaths and infections today!
It’s recovery could have been miraculous.
But one rogue leader can wrought so much misfortune.
And his friends across the world too appear to be fallowing in his footsteps!
What will be the fate of India with a friend as good(sic) as Donald John Trump at the helm of affairs?
Trump is only perceived as a man!
We behold our supreme leader as god!
Will our god save us?
Or will he save himself and his cronies?
Let those of us who live through this sad charade wait and see!
Asato ma sadgamaya
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
Mrtyorma amrtam gamaya
OoOm Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih
-Taken from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad — I.III.28.
Lead, me from LIE to TRUTH
Lead, me from DARKNESS to LIGHT
Lead, me from DEATH to IMMORTALTIY!
Let there be Peace(in Body), peace(in speech) and Peace(in Mind)
“And before my death,
lead me Out of ignorance,
Into the garden of Eternal wisdom,
Where I cease my blind love for Anything!
And relish True light and enlightenment!
Absorbing all Bliss!
Absolving all Mess!
If I may do so under your guidance!
Oh my great Architect of the Universe!
OoOm Namo Namah!
– Satyananda Saraswathi
sarvajano sukhinaabhavantho! bhaarath Maataa Ki “
Why did this saffron gang not commenting on director ram gopal Varma’s lighten up of cigarette instead of diya on PM call??
Will they not treat him as human??
People who are saying that lighting diyas didn’t kill the coronavirus are not only hiding the fact that Modi never said so, but are also plainly jealous of the fact that Modi’s word is still followed by millions of ordinary people, something no Indian leader has achieved since Gandhi.
OMG haters even have an issue with diyas and candles. Thankfully they are not expressing their opinions due to the lack of freedom of expression 🙂
And somehow all these wonderful and brilliant scientific minds that are super sane that prime minister didn’t even remotely claim that doing this will magically kill the pandemic. So the question is are you imagining things? Or is this too difficult for you people to comprehend. I can
Understand if opposition politicians speak this nonsense. But what’s wrong with you ppl. You may have multiple issues with govt’s way of handling the problem. But what is mind numbingly stopping you from seperating these two things.
We Hindus are basically very selfish. Deep down we do not empathize with absolutely anyone. That’s we jump up at any opportunity to do a tamasha of empathizing with anyone and everyone. That somehow covers up our humanity defecit.
I didn’t do it… With a PhD in molecular biology I am still in sane mind and believe in my science… This act is more like the king is trying to test if the citizens are still in support of him. I wonder if the folks will do the same thing on orders of emperor when the cases crosses 1 lakh!
You may have a PhD, but don’t have any idea about what this is supposed to achieve. Try getting even 10 people to do something for a common cause and then you will know what is leadership. Otherwise you will be an over-educated clueless.
I didn’t either and you don’t need a PhD to see this is totally fake. But Modi sure is impressive as an event manager. I think he missed his true calling. Still not late, though.
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