Millions of Indians lit up their homes, streets, and even skies last night (April 5) in response to prime minister Narendra Modi’s call for a show of solidarity with those affected by Covid-19.
Citizens chanted patriotic slogans, blew conches, and played loud music for exactly nine minutes—at some places for a little more—around 9pm. However, at many places, Modi’s April 3 request to strictly stay indoors went unheeded as people poured onto the streets in large groups and processions, blowing holes in the primary intent behind the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Among those who violated the curfew was Raja Singh, a member of the Telangana legislative assembly from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, who chanted slogans asking the “Chinese virus” to go away.
Another such rally took place in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh.
Some people burst firecrackers, spoiling the air quality which had just begun to improve to unprecedented levels thanks to the lockdown.
One such instance in Jaipur, Rajasthan, reportedly led to a building catching fire. The fire was contained later.
A similar incident in an apartment complex in Mumbai’s Oshiwara locality was also contained.
Meanwhile, most others stuck to their terraces and balconies. While there were apprehensions about a drastic drop in electricity demand—Modi had asked people to switch off lights—leading to a grid failure, nothing untoward happened.
Here are some photos of the nationwide vigil.