Millions across India answered Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to switch off the lights of their homes and hold candles, lamps and mobile flashlights in a show of solidarity amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
At 9 pm, people came onto their balconies and porches holding light in their hands and remained there for minutes, showing that the country is united in the fight against the virus, which has infected over a million people globally. They also shouted patriotic slogans, beat utensils, burnt crackers and played musical instruments, in a display of resolve against the virus.
The event was also a massive hit on social media as thousands tweeted pictures and photographs of them with lamps and candles. #9MinutesForIndia, #9baje9minute, #Diwali are among the top trends.
PM Modi tweeted his photographs with a lamp.
शुभं करोति कल्याणमारोग्यं धनसंपदा ।— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 5, 2020
शत्रुबुद्धिविनाशाय दीपज्योतिर्नमोऽस्तुते ॥ pic.twitter.com/4DeiMsCN11
President Ram Nath Kovind, cricketer Suresh Raina, politician JP Nadda are among several wellknown people who tweeted their pictures. Mohammad Kaif, former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also tweeted their photos. Several actors including Rajinikanth, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Ranveer Singh also joined fellow Indians in the initiative.
President Kovind with the First Lady and members of the family joined fellow citizens in demonstrating collective solidarity and positivity by lighting candles at 9 PM. He expressed his gratitude towards every Indian for showing resolve & resilience in the fight against COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/FdVscw07LR— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) April 5, 2020
To, all the doctors, medical staff, sanitation workers, govt. employees, police and army personnel, media personnel, bankers, essentials' shopkeepers and all other warriors fighting #COVID19— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) April 5, 2020
We are in your debt and ever thankful.
Jai Hind! ????????#9baje9minute#9बजे9मिनटpic.twitter.com/eD3EW1ZISj
In response to @narendramodi ji's call, I have joined my fellow citizens to light candles, pramithalu (diyas) and remind ourselves of our shared responsibility to defeat #Coronavirus together#9बजे9मिनट#9baje9mintuespic.twitter.com/dU8k4ipqHr— N Chandrababu Naidu #StayHomeSaveLives (@ncbn) April 5, 2020
We are all united in order to fight this pandemic. Let the light of the diyas, candles bring back light into our lives as these illuminate our hearts with positivity & strength #9Baje9Minutes#9बजे9मिनट#COVID2019pic.twitter.com/LYrwiduVkb— Madhuri Dixit Nene (@MadhuriDixit) April 5, 2020
PM Modi's mother Heeraben also lighted an earthen lamp.
Gujarat: Mother of PM Modi, Heeraben, lights an earthen lamp after turning off all lights at her residence. India switched off all the lights for 9 minutes at 9 PM today & just lit a candle, 'diya', or flashlight, to mark India's fight against #Coronavirus as per PM's appeal. pic.twitter.com/qPQqXAB6Jf— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week addressed the nation and gave a call for unity to "fight the darkness of coronavirus pandemic".
"On April 5, Sunday, at 9 pm, I want 9 minutes from all of you. Turn off all the lights in your homes, stand at your doors or balconies and light candles, diya (lamp) or mobile flashlights for 9 minutes," he had said in a video message.
"No one is alone during the lockdown, the collective superpower of 130 crore Indians is with every citizen," he had said.
This morning, PM Modi tweeted: "#9pm9minute".
It was his third address to the nation amid the coronavirus crisis.
PM Modi had last month asked people to come onto their balconies and porches beating utensils in a display of gratitude to the frontline health workers fighting the pandemic.