On April 5, 1.3 billion Indians will light candles to overcome COVID-19 fear


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday invoked its mentor and former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s iconic poem “Ao fir se diya jalaye” to promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign urging all citizens to light a candle at 9 p.m. on Sunday for nine minutes to show their solidarity with the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The BJP tweeted a 50-second clip where Vajpayee could be seen reciting his poem with the caption: “We have to challenge the darkness of Corona together.”

The poem itself is about hope and positivity. It is believed to have been penned after an electoral debacle of BJP when Lal Krishna Advani took Vajpayee to Delhi’s Golcha cinema to cheer him up.

On returning home, he wrote this poem which said, “Let us light the lamp once again”.

In fact, the poem is often used by the BJP to enthuse its cadres after any electoral loss, just like it was used after the loss in the recent Delhi Assembly polls.

Earlier on Friday, Modi in a short video message to the nation said, “I request all of you to switch off all the lights at your homes on April 5 at 9 p.m. for nine minutes, and light a candle, diya or your mobile’s flashlight to mark our fight against coronavirus.”

This is the second initiative taken by Modi after the stupendous success of the ‘Janata curfew’ held on March 22, to infuse a sense of purpose to a population of more than 130 crores, which amid to keep the masses stay positive and not lose hope amid rising cases of the pandemic.

Modi appealed to citizens to respect the lockdown orders and not venture out at anytime. He reminded them once more that social distancing is the only way to flatten the graph of spiking cases across the nation despite all efforts.

This new task assigned by the Prime Minister, Modi termed it as an attempt to show coronavirus, the strength of Indian unity and ‘light’.

“This Sunday, 5th April we have to challenge the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to introduce it to the power of light,” PM Modi said in an address to the nation.

“We have to take Mahasankalp (the supreme oath) by 130 crore citizens to new heights. I want your 9 minutes at 9 p.m. on April 5,” Modi added.