Scenes were reminiscent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first initiative in the fight against COVID-19, as citizens came together for PM’s second initiative on Sunday. After defying social distancing norms and gathering in big groups, this time too some citizens got carried away by taking out ‘processions’ with flames and bursting firecrackers, though the leader had only asked one to light a diya, candle, torch or mobile flashlights at their homes. Many celebrities were not too pleased with firecrackers being set off during the ‘9 pm-9 mins’ appeal of the Prime Minister.
Gautam Gambhir did not mince his words while expressing his displeasure. The Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament, after almost an hour of the time set for gesture, sent out a message to Indians to ‘stay inside’. The former Team India cricketer added that the country was still in the middle of a fight and that it was not an occasion to bust crackers.
INDIA, STAY INSIDE!— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 5, 2020
We are still in the middle of a fight
Not an occasion to burst crackers ! #IndiaFightsCorona
Netizens, however, were divided over his appeal. One section of netizens agreed to his views, and another wrote that the world would mock us for it.
Appreciate sir, not the time to celebrate— Vicky L Samuel (@VickyLSamuel1) April 5, 2020
Yes, it's a test match. We are aware.— Yash Agarwalla (@Yashagarwalla) April 5, 2020
ModiJi didn't tell not to burn crackers.— Krishnajith SRT (@KrishnajithKJ) April 5, 2020
Koi celebration ka din nahi tha ko fatake chala rahe hai. Log baag puriya duniya thukegi ab hum par ki log mar rahe hai or ye khusiya mana rahe hai— Nikhil goutam (@Nikhilgoutam18) April 5, 2020
Diya jalane ko bola tha & people were bursting crackers😡#IndiaFightsCorona— Pallavi(GautianForever) 🇮🇳 (@mspallaviyadav) April 5, 2020
However, many disagreed. Some wrote that they were only celebrating their ‘small contribution’ and appreciating PM Modi with the gesture. Some felt he was making a big deal about it, while one asked if it was fine during cricket matches. Many others were even more harsh in the criticism of his post.
People are just celebrating their small contribution and appreciating @narendramodi . Love your aggression but let people gain confidence and let us unite and get ready for this battle #ThodaRelaxKaro #CoolRaho— Aashiq Chajjed (@AashiqChajjed) April 5, 2020
Gautam ,sir I respect for your concern but we are celebrating because our prime minister is modi who just give us the strength that we will definitely win the fight against this virus....but we have to maintain social distance and follow our government...jai ho yogi baba ki...— Nikhil Trivedi (@NikhilT56540035) April 5, 2020
Areee yaar aapko itna Kya problem hogai 2-4 phatake phod diye to... Why do u want to create negativity?— Shruti (@shruttitandon) April 5, 2020
दिक्कत क्या है आपको।जिसको जैसे बन सका वैसे प्रकाश किया चाहे दिया हो या पटाखे।— maneeshpandey🇮🇳 (@maneeshpanday) April 5, 2020
Why are we allowed to burst crackers only during cricket match?— 🇮🇳 Aaryaavart 🇮🇳 (@HiteshB71003670) April 5, 2020
Earlier, Sonam K Ahuja, who is also in Delhi currently, had expressed her displeasure over firecrackers being busted. Netizens were not happy in that case too and posted her throwback pictures from Diwali. Richa Chadha also asked if it was unnecessary.
Members of the political, entertainment and sports fraternities came out in big numbers to light their homes for the initiative. The pictures and videos have been going viral on social media. Meanwhile, India entered day 13 of the 21-day lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19, as active cases crossed 3500 and deaths over 100.