War against COVID-19: Modi unites India with call for People’s Curfew


Shed smugness and be proactive in combating coronavirus with Resolve & Restraint. This was the overarching message of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he sought to rally the nation together in a web of empathy and solidarity against the scourge of a rampaging epidemic.

The mantra of self-restraint and responsibility was crystallized in PM Modi’s call for Indian citizens to observe dawn-to-dusk “Janata Curfew,” (People’s Curfew) on March 22. This exhortation for people’s curfew is a subtle way of preparing the Indian citizenry for mass self-quarantine and lock-down should the coronavirus situation worsen in the country in months to come. People’s Curfew will not just be about people staying indoors as a cautionary measure, but will also conclude mass expression of gratitude for all those who are working tirelessly 24×7 to prevent and mitigate the pandemic. Fittingly, the day-long curfew on March 22 will conclude with clapping and banging of utensils as an expression of people’s thankfulness for those who job is to protect the country from the deadly disease.

“For the last two months, millions are working day and night in hospitals and airports and those serving others by not taking care of themselves. On March 22, at 5’o clock, we should stand on our doorways, balconies, in our windows and keep clapping hands and ringing the bells for five minutes to salute and encourage them,” Mr Modi said.

No complacency, please…

In a televised address to the nation on March 19, PM Modi’s speech struck all the right notes, with his emphasis on self-discipline and determination as a way of keeping the coronavirus situation under control in India.  PM’s twin mantra of Sankalp (Resolve) and Sanyam (Restraint) has resonated with people as they realize that the onus is equally on them to take care of their health as well as those of people around them.

The prime minister’s caution against complacency is perfectly sensible. “For the last few days, it looks like if we are safe from coronavirus. This belief is not right. Hence, it is very important for every Indian to remain aware and alert,” PM Modi said. His speech was refreshingly free of any grand declarations and was more in the nature of a family elder comforting and assuring the country that battling a pandemic effectively can’t be left to the government alone, but is equally the citizens’ responsibility.

“For the last few days, it looks like if we are safe from coronavirus. This belief is not right. Hence, it is very important for every Indian to remain aware and alert,” the prime minister said.

 

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Manish Chand
Manish Chand
Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.