At 11:23 AM on March 27th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent the country in a tizzy when he announced on Twitter that he "would be addressing the nation at around 11:45 AM - 12.00 noon with an important message."
Coming less than a month before polling for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 starts, the announcement caused quite a bit of sensation among Indians who instantly started wondering what the PM had in store.
Every time PM Modi has announced these addresses in the past five years, it was with the purpose of revealing major policy or defense announcements. What could it be this time, netizens wondered. Another demonetization? Another surgical strike? Clarification on the Balakot airstrikes? As the time for the announcement neared, the anticipation started to mount further.
मेरे प्यारे देशवासियों,— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 27, 2019
आज सवेरे लगभग 11.45 - 12.00 बजे मैं एक महत्वपूर्ण संदेश लेकर आप के बीच आऊँगा।
I would be addressing the nation at around 11:45 AM - 12.00 noon with an important message.
Do watch the address on television, radio or social media.
Google Trends also seemed to indicate that Indians were furiously searching for relevant terms like 'demonetization' and 'surgical strike' to see if there was any news on them yet.
Netizens openly discussed what they thought it would be, as well as considering, 'Surely the announcement couldn't be apolitical? Not so close to the elections?'
As 11:45 came and went, people started getting anxious. By 12 noon and still no address, Indian Twitter was in a positive state of alarm and confusion. From surgical strikes, to Masood Azhar and even the capturing of Dawood Ibrahim, many potential possibilities were thrown about. In fact, "Dawood" even trended on Twitter for a short period.
Indian Stretchable Time. IST pic.twitter.com/dLYAswTsOH— Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) March 27, 2019
Modi Ji following Indian Standard Time like a true Indian. Respect.— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) March 27, 2019
•Is Dawood Ibrahim being returned? •Have we taken out a HVT?— LCA Tejas (India) ایل سی اے تیجاس (@Leopard212) March 27, 2019
•Could Article 370 be altered or geographical changes to the state of Jammu and Kashmir?
*Armed Forces and Security Operations do not come under Model Code of Conduct.*#PMAddress2019 pic.twitter.com/v6kfiE9Yei
Modi ji: "I will be addressing the nation with an important message."— Akshar (@AksharPathak) March 27, 2019
You (dumbass): *waiting for the announcement*
Me (1000 times smarter): *already walking towards the nearest ATM*
At 12:25 PM, 25 minutes after the promised time, the Prime Minister started speaking and revealed what the 'security-related' announcement he had for the nation.
In his speech, he summed up how "India has successfully registered its name among the 'Greats of the Space Race' today."
PM Modi announced that India had now become an elite space power. An anti-satellite weapon A-SAT, successfully targeted a live satellite on a low earth orbit. He further said that 'Mission Shakti' operation was a difficult target to achieve, but was completed successfully within three minutes of launch.
India became only the fourth nation after the United States, Russia and China to be able to target objects in space, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "'Mission Shakti' is an important step towards securing India's safety, economic growth and technological advancement."
He also took to Twitter to explain the announcement further it in a series of tweets.
In the journey of every nation there are moments that bring utmost pride and have a historic impact on generations to come.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 27, 2019
One such moment is today.
India has successfully tested the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile. Congratulations to everyone on the success of #MissionShakti.
#MissionShakti is special for 2 reasons:— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 27, 2019
(1) India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised & modern capability.
(2) Entire effort is indigenous.
India stands tall as a space power!
It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony.
#MissionShakti was a highly complex one, conducted at extremely high speed with remarkable precision. It shows the remarkable dexterity of India’s outstanding scientists and the success of our space programme.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 27, 2019
What exactly is Mission Shakti? News18 explains here.