Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to all 130 crore Indians to express their solidarity with the nation's massive fight against coronavirus, by lighting a diya (lamp), torch, candle or mobile phone at their doorstep or in their balcony. Here is all that you need to know about the PM's call, which will be in action at 9 PM for nine minutes tonight.
Q. What has PM Modi asked for?
A. The Prime Minister has just called upon the 130 crore citizens to turn off all the lights of their homes, and light a lamp (diya), candle or a torch at their doorstep or in their balcony. He had advised that the whole exercise be held in all the homes at 9 PM for just nine minutes.
Q. Did PM Modi call upon the public to switch off their main circuits?
A. No. Never did the PM urged the people to turn off the entire electricity from the main switch. Certain trolls on social media have been popularising the rumours about the power variation due to the switching off of lights affecting the main grid. This is not only wrong, but mischievous as well.
Turning off lights is a process that we all do while going to bed at night. The Union Power Ministry has also come out with a clarification that the PM didn’t ask the public to switch off fridges, ACs or other heavy-duty appliances. The speculation of significant power variation, therefore, are entirely misplaced.
Q. Why is PM Modi's call to light candles for nine minutes at 9 PM on April 5 is not mere symbolism?
A. “Let’s throw a challenge to the coronavirus threat. Let us introduce it to the power of light,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said during his video message on April 3, in which he had called upon all 130 crore Indian to light a lamp in their homes.
The collective gesture is meant to be a major psychological boost to the people of the country, as the PM had indicated in his speech.
Dr KK Agarwal, former President of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), has explained the science behind the PM’s call, which he said was based on the “principle of collective consciousness.” In a viral video, he said that whatever the one per cent of the population did and thought would percolate through the remaining 99 per cent of the population. The ACE2 receptors in the lungs will be full of energy, which would help in combat the coronavirus, which directly affects the respiratory system, he said. The same philosophy has also been mentioned in ancient Indian scriptures, he said.
Further, the PM’s clarion call is also meant to boost the morale of healthcare workers at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus.
Calling the gesture as mere symbolism would therefore be wrong and even unprincipled, that too at a time when the entire country is facing an unprecedented health crisis.
Q. Is the PM’s call binding on all citizens?
A. No, it is an entirely voluntary call and not binding on anyone.