Mini Diwali for India amidst the corona lockdown, Modi’s call cheers up Indians

As the cases in India rose to an incredible 4288 and 117 death toll, the Honorable Prime
Minister of the country, Narendra Modi asked the citizens to participate in an act of solidarity to thank the workers of essential services on Prime Time News hour. However, several had their reservations about the same. The over-enthusiastic response of the people rejoicing the mini Diwali had a huge consequence.

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Unlike the Janata Curfew or the 21 days countrywide lockdown, the Prime Miniter gave the citizens a 60-hour notice as he asked them to switch off their all their house lights and place diyas while remaining indoors on Sunday for 9 minutes, starting at 9 pm. As thousands all over the country joined him in this initiative, several incidents highlighted the event as doing more harm than good.

Power Sector

After the sudden announcement, officials of the Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. gave a statement on how the sudden change in frequency during these 9 minutes could cause a potential blow to the national grid rendering the country powerless for almost 24 hours, requiring an estimated week to make repairs.

Swift actions and measures taken by the power sector officials proved to be successful to
overcome the triumphant task of managing the sudden change in a power surge. Officials had even asked the people to keep all other appliances on when they switched the lights off to ensure that the sudden shift would be more manageable.

While many ignored the potential threat, others questioned the necessity of such an event. While such fluctuations are recorded during power cuts and World Earth Hour Day, the excess load of the 30 percent power being unused by the manufacturing sectors also played a major role, as well as large national level participation. Many were of the opinion that such a huge risk in times of a pandemic could render fatal as it was the first power cut in terms of human error.

People were apprehensive about the potential threat to the hospitals if such a surge could not be managed. Further, the power officials were forced to work within such short periods’ notice to come up with viable measures to prevent possible grid failure.

Indiscipline

Several people reported the bursting of firecrackers and huge gatherings in their localities. Videos of a building on fire in Vaishali also surfaced, however, its validity has not been confirmed yet. Similar reports of the runway fires of Solapur airport surfaced both on twitter and Instagram, though they have not been confirmed by officials.

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Others spread the word of a torchlight rally procession led by BJP MLA T Raja Singh which violated the lockdown as several people took to the streets in support of this rally.
Others reported great dissatisfaction with the bursting of crackers due to the sharp fall in air quality after days of a pollution-free city with clear skies.

These events caused much discontent regarding the actual consequences of the event which ended up violating the lockdown provisions. Many stated that after the 5 pm clapping during Janata Curfew was a clear indicator of the indisciplined actions that the people engaged in and thus such events were bound to happen.

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PR Stunt

People across social media complained of this event as just another PR stunt to divert attention from the inefficient allocation of funds and shortages. While many stated that this was a much-needed distraction, others disagreed on this as it was just another excuse for inappropriate measures adopted. People were unhappy with these tasks and actual inefficiency.

They said that this was a public initiative, and should not have been a government initiative and the great public support during both the clapping and the Diya lighting encourages the government towards inaction. This propaganda goes on to highlight the lack of government accountability and responsibility in answering important questions regarding its working.

Was it necessary?

As people rejoiced in this mini Diwali event, others blatantly called out the government on this unnecessary task. As news reports of doctors’ funds and salaries are being cut and put into the ambiguous PM Cares Fund surfaced, the people raised questions regarding the situation of the medical staff and workers of essential services. The failure to implement national emergency policies to tackle the pandemic and replacing such required measures by such events was highly criticized. Doctors are unhappy with the fake propaganda and have started demanding better measures to ensure their safety, including the nurses’ association in Tamil Nadu.

Though the psychological effect uplifted several during those 9 minutes, the privileges shared by most households in carrying out such events are not shared amongst all, and turning a blind eye towards such inadequacies of he suffering classes and frontline worker. The atrocities and failure of compliance encourage inefficient governance rather than actual policies. In such dire times, the country requires actual implementation of actions and does not have the privilege to think about the psychological consequences of empty gestures.

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