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'Light Diyas of Reason not Superstition': Opposition Slams PM Modi's Appeal to Indians for April 5

News18 image (s).

News18 image (s).

PM Modi has asked people to turn off lights in their homes and instead light candles for 9 minutes at 9 pm on Sunday in order to shun the 'darkness' of COVID-19.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: April 3, 2020, 2:28 PM IST
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On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Indians for nine minutes of their time on Sunday at 9 pm, April 5. He asked people to turn off lights in their homes and instead light candles and flash torches or their mobile phones in order to shun the "darkness" of COVID-19.

Addressing the country via a video message, PM Modi also lauded the discipline exhibited by Indians during the 21-day lockdown imposed by the government to check the spread of coronavirus.

However, opposition leaders did not seem convinced of the effectiveness of the move in terms of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. What seemed to irk many was the PM stating that the Diya lighting was meant to establish a sense of solidarity among Indians.

Congress leader P Chidambaram said that he had expected Modi to roll out a generous livelihood support package for the poor, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor demanded to know what the government was actually doing to contain the virus.

Earlier in the month, Indians had taken in large numbers to their windows and balconies and even the streets to observe PM Modi's call for beating plates and clapping at 5 PM on the Janata Curfew Sunday as a mark of appreciation for the health and medical personnel at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight.

While the move was deemed a success by the government and received praise from other countries as well as the United Nations, many in the opposition had at the time slammed the idea. "Clapping doesn't kill virus," Tharoor had tweeted at the time.

Meanwhile, the number of active coronavirus cases crossed the 2,000 mark in India on Friday with the total number of deaths at 56.


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