Activist Shehla Rashid acknowledging the show of strength on March 22 noted that PM Modi's 'word is law' as people took to their balconies to unanimously cheer at 5 PM observing Janta Curfew. Furthermore, she urged the Prime Minister to use his 'power' to make people stringently comply with the health guidelines in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
While calling for the need of 'obedience', the former JNU student took on the PM Modi for allegedly 'alienating various sections'. "Unanimous cheering at 5 pm on balconies of homes across India shows Narendra Modi's word is the law. He must use this power to make people comply with health guidelines strictly. Normally, I'm not a fan of obedience, but this time we need it. I wish he hadn't alienated so many sections," Shehla Rashid said on Twitter.
However, Shehla Rashid, who has often been an outspoken critic of the ruling dispensation took Twitter by surprise after exuding unforeseen support for PM Modi's initiative amid the COVID-19 outbreak. In response to one such tweet, that found her lauding the Prime Minister's initiative as 'strange', Shehla Rashid said that she was her usual-self 'rational and unbiased', and that there is a need to think and act in unison.
She said, "Nothing has 'happened' to me. I am my usual self: rational, unbiased and unafraid to speak my mind for fear of criticism from the Left or the Right. We are in the middle of a very huge crisis that will take more lives than any riot. We need to think together and act in unison."
Millions of people stayed indoors to observe a "Janta Curfew on Sunday after an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but they stood outside their homes or in their balconies at 5 pm to thank the health workers at the forefront of the fight against the virus. Beating bells, metal vessels, and conch shells, people acknowledged the services of the thousands of doctors, nurse and other medical staff. Prime Minister Modi thanked the people for expressing their gratitude and solidarity but said it was the start of a long battle.