Hitman Rohit Sharma on Sunday urged Indians to not replicate the World Cup victory celebrations and stay indoors while celebrating #9Minutes9PM.
At 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, desis took to their windows, balconies, and streets for the second time amid the "total" 21-day lockdown to fight coronavirus.
Responding to PM 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.
"Stay indoors India, don’t go out on the streets celebrating. World Cup is still some time away," Sharma tweeted Sunday night.
Stay indoors India, don’t go out on the streets celebrating. World Cup is still some time away 🙏 — Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) April 5, 2020
The Indian opener's tweet came after PM, in his latest address to the nation, had appealed Indians to do away the darkness of COVID-19 while maintaining that social distancing was a must and one should not venture out in the open and defeat the purpose of the lockdown.
This was after Modi's earlier appeal when had asked the nation to clap or beat thaalis together from their windows and balconies as a mark of respect for the frontline health workers and medical professionals who were working day and night to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and selflessly treating patients affected by it.
But what followed next was nothing short of World Cup celebrations, except this time enthusiastic Indians had flouted the lockdown rules and taken to streets with pots and pans, drums and conches, and cheerfully celebrated the victories of doctors - all while putting self-isolation and social distancing at stake.
Bombay folks celebrating the demise of coronavirus by coming out on the street in groups pic.twitter.com/nNQ8uNb3Bt — Ankur Bhardwaj (@Bhayankur) March 22, 2020
Despite repeated calls from Modi, Sharma, and other concerned netizens, Sunday night saw Indians burst crackers in many cities across the country.
In fact, pollution in many cities spiked after the "patakha celebrations" that followed. Just to make matters worse, a fire was reported in Jaipur's Vaishali Nagar on Sunday night.
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
Adding fuel to the fire was BJP's lone MLA in Telangana, Raja Singh, who led a unique protest against coronavirus on Sunday night by raising slogans of "Chinese virus go back". Holding fire torches in their hands, Raja Singh and his followers raised slogans of "go back, go back, Chinese virus go back."
धन्यवाद भारत 🇮🇳 धन्यवाद @narendramodi जी।#9pm9minutes #9बजे9मिनट pic.twitter.com/03TuCFXqrn — Raja Singh (@TigerRajaSingh) April 5, 2020
The data and studies on COVID-19 have shown that staying away from crowds is vital in curbing the spread of the infection. Stay home and listen to your PM and cricket heroes.