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India joins Modi’s candlelight vigil with lamps, crackers—and a breached lockdown

REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

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.

AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
Firecrackers in a residential colony in Greater Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi.

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.

Modi had asked Indians to stand on their balconies or doorways, like these residents of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, did.
REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
New Delhi, too, participated with much enthusiasm.
REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
Some lit up the pavements in the Indian capital.
REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
In Kolkata, health care staff participated in the exercise in solidarity.
AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.
An Indian policewoman in Hyderabad.
AP Photo/Manish Swarup
Those with no access to candles improvised with flashlights on their mobile phones, like these security guards in New Delhi.

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