Prime News, National (New Delhi), April 5:- Millions of people switched off non-essential lights and lit diyas (earthen lamps) and candles in their balconies and verandas on Sunday night following a call this week from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “challenge the darkness spread by the coronavirus crisis”.
As the clock struck 9 pm tens of thousands of diyas, a traditional lamp is usually seen during Diwali and other festive occasions were lit as people wearing face masks burst firecrackers, blew conches (horns) and shouted and cheered in response to the Prime Minister’s call.
Spiritual slogans were heard too, as well as chants of “Bharat Mata ki Jai.”
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP chief JP Nadda were among those to post photos of themselves lighting diyas outside their residences.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also lit lamps outside his home, as did Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP (Telugu Desam Party) chief N Chandrababu was among the first political leaders to post on social media.
Interestingly, although the country is under the Prime Minister’s “total lockdown” and only shops selling essential items are allowed to function, a number of makeshift roadside shops and carts sold diyas at various places across the country on Sunday.
On Friday the Prime Minister urged people to turn off lights, stand in their balconies and hold candles, diyas, and even mobile phone flashlights, for nine minutes in a nationwide show of solidarity. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)