At 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, Indians took to their windows, balconies and streets for the second time amid the "total" 21-day lockdown to fight coronavirus. Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to light diyas and candles for 9 minutes at 9 pm, Indians came out with all flames blazing to mark their solidarity.
Some Indians, however, seem to have confused the call to light candles as the celebration of Diwali. Starting at 9 pm, several cities lit up not just with the light of candles but also the sound of crackers.
Yes, in a bid to fight coronavirus which causes respiratory problems among other symptoms in those who contract it, many Indians burst crackers increased air pollution, all in the name of the PM. Several such instances were reported on social media from cities like Delhi and Mumbai among others.
Actress Sonam Kapoor Ahujatweeted about crackers being burst in South Delhi.
There was complete peace and quite, and now the birds ,dogs and sirens are freaking out in south Delhi because some morons decided to burst fire crackers tonight.— Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamakapoor) April 5, 2020
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
Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai also tweeted about it, as did comedian and social media celebrity Bhuvan Bam.
RT if you can hear crackers too.— Bhuvan Bam (@Bhuvan_Bam) April 5, 2020
Some people in my area now bursting crackers. What kind of utter nonsense is this. You have singularly mocked at PM’s appeal: this is not bloody Diwali but a solemn occasion. Spend money you just did on crackers on meals for the poor. Absolutely shameful. Sorry, just not done!— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) April 5, 2020
News18 journalists also reported the bursting of crackers in Delhi.
I am seeing some people on roads who are bursting fire-crackers.Dear Delhi, when did the PM ask you to do this? Idea was to light a diya, say a prayer & not to pollute the air.Aren't crackers burnt to celebrate? What are you celebrating? Lack of proper facilities for doctors?— Saahil Murli Menghani (@saahilmenghani) April 5, 2020
Other Twitter users also posted videos of crackers being burnt on balconies and within housing complexes. Following are some of the videos doing the rounds on social media.
okay, so people are dying due to coronavirus and dumbfcuks here are celebrating it by bursting crackers, just fcuking wow!#9बजे9मिनट #9Minute9baje pic.twitter.com/wlMN02rlUc— ᴀʙʜɪ♡ (@abhipvtx) April 5, 2020
Modiji requested to light diyas for 9 minutes , My neighborhood thought its diwali and burning fire crackers like crazy!!! #9बजे9मिनट pic.twitter.com/NmH0QBhY4I— Sambhav Gupta (@sambhavgupta6) April 5, 2020
This was tweeted from Delhi.
This tweet came from Gurgaon.
This one came from Lucknow.
#Live from #lucknow The PM said light a #diya...People heard prepare for #Corona’s wedding celebrations/ its encounter! All we hear is the sound of firecrackers, gunshots and rockets being launched! #Covid19Out #9pm9minutes pic.twitter.com/BlpvTpa6e1— Prof. Ali Khan Mahmudabad (@Mahmudabad) April 5, 2020
This was the scene from a Kolkata rooftop, as tweeted by a Twitter user.
View from our apartment.. Total black out, city of joy KOLKATA lighten up with diyaas... Fire crackers bursting across the city. Kudos to @narendramodi ji. No leader could create such electrifying environment amidst dullness created by a pandemic! #9PM9minute #9बजे9मिनट pic.twitter.com/k5wiVwP6ew— Sumit kadel (@SumitkadeI) April 5, 2020
This video was shared from Dehradun.
I don’t know why people are burning cracker what the hell ! ... Some people have not followed instructions and rules which have given by PM sir ... I haven’t expected this from DEHRADUN CITY people... Thoes people who haved burned cracker it’s not a DIWALI pic.twitter.com/EzbdRcfJ4h— Mohan Negi (@MohanNe94386574) April 5, 2020
Similar scenes unfolded across several Indian cities. A Twitter user From Jaipur's Vaishali Nagar even tweeted a video of a building that caught fire due to the bursting of crackers. Yet another fire was reported at Solapur Airport by former journalist and Congress worker Srivatsa.
Massive fire in a building in my neighborhood from bursting crackers for #9baje9mintues. Fire brigade just drove in. Hope everyone's safe. pic.twitter.com/NcyDxYdeFW— Mahim Pratap Singh (@mayhempsingh) April 5, 2020
Many wondered where people were getting crackers from at a time when even essential commodities were ar a premium.
At a time when the total number of deaths due to coronavirus has crossed 79 in India with global deaths crossing of 65,000, the bursting crackers and the jubilation comes across as crass and illogical. Many took to social media to ridicule those who burst crackers.
We are in the midst of a pandemic and people are celebrating Diwali. Bursting crackers too. No trace of pain of poor. Black comedy. #Hum_Light_Nahi_Bujhaenge— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) April 5, 2020
Delhi, Kolkata one in top 5 most polluted cities tonight.Still better than what we've seen, yes.But unnecessary cracker bursting.In some cities AQI is as low as 2 https://t.co/WyH7xasuc3 pic.twitter.com/UB4DXyUrL6— Sana Khan (@Sanakhan_m) April 5, 2020