Millions of Indians throughout the country lit candles and torchlights through their mobile phone apps at 9 p.m. on Sunday, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for national “solidarity” in the global fight against coronavirus.
As the clock struck 9 p.m., houses went dark and people gathered on their balconies, some flashing mobile phone lights while others held lit candles, for nine minutes. The nine minutes of darkness also resulted in a social media campaign called #9MinutesforIndia.
— Devil V!SHAL (@VishalRC007) April 5, 2020
— Raman (@SaffronSamosa) April 5, 2020
Never before have I seen our nation backing up its leader like today. This is a message that the people of India are not only with you but they are proud of you and have no doubt in your leadership. #IndiaBattlesCoronavirus #9MinutesForIndia #ProudtobeanIndian🇳 pic.twitter.com/qRy9UQzPYp
— Abhishek Das (@abhishek4mrkl) April 5, 2020
Modi had urged people to turn their lights off for nine minutes at 9 p.m., to show their country’s sense of unity during the lockdown.
This is not the first time Modi has sought to rally his people during the pandemic, which has killed more than 73,560 worldwide as of Sunday afternoon.
The Prime Minister had earlier asked the public to clap or beat utensils on March 22 for five minutes at 5 p.m. while observing “janata curfew,” also known as “the people’s curfew” between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., to thank those who worked as essential employees.
Just two days later, Modi announced a 21-day lockdown across the country from March 25 to combat the coronavirus, saying that social distancing was the only way to defeat the virus.