Days after asking Indians to bang utensils, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged people to light candles and flash mobile phone lights for nine minutes at 9 PM on 5 April to fight the coronavirus outbreak. No sooner did he release his short video message on social media, this led to a meme fest with people mocking the prime minister’s ways of fighting a global pandemic.
Modi asked Indians to switch off lights inside their homes at 9 PM on 5 April for nine minutes and stand in their balconies or outside their doors for nine minutes by holding well-lit candles, torches or turned on flashlights in their mobile phones.
He said, “This Sunday on 5 April, we have to get together and challenge the darkness of the danger posed by corona. We have to introduce the power of light to corona. This 5 April, we have to awaken the great power of 130 crore people….I want your nine minutes on 5 April, Sunday, at 9 PM,”
A video messsage to my fellow Indians. https://t.co/rcS97tTFrH
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 3, 2020
Last month, Modi had asked Indians to bang utensils and clap for five minutes at 5 PM on 22 March to fight the pandemic. His supporters were quick to spin bizarre Hindutva theories to justify the benefits of clapping and banging utensils.
Here’s how social media reacted to Modi’s new announcement:
This is no accident: the PM spoke on Ram Navami at 9 am for 9 mins, asked us to light diyas & candles on 5/4 at 9 pm for 9 mins. He is invoking all the auspicious elements Hinduism associates with number 9. Back to Ram Bharose?! #COVID19 must be more serious than we thought!
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) April 3, 2020
Corona virus at 9pm sunday pic.twitter.com/CpcxUc5qbu
— Kofun (@kofun_1) April 3, 2020
Modi – burn candles at 9 PM
— Political Di⏺ (@PoliticalDi) April 3, 2020
5th April, 9 pm dudes will be doing this. pic.twitter.com/8g65lF3uLn
— shunali khullar shroff (@shunalishroff) April 3, 2020
— suno na? (@revolver_rani_) April 3, 2020
— ????. (@bunMaskaa) April 3, 2020
Many predicted that die-hard supporters of Modi, also known as bhakts, will create more bizarre theories to link the benefits of lighting a lamp to fighting the coronavirus pandemic just the way they had done on 22 March.