Did We Misinterpret PM Modi’s Speech On The ‘Janta Curfew’?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak on 19th March 2020. In his speech, he talked about the global catastrophe and how we should be prepared and try to avoid it. In his nearly 30 minutes of speech, he talked about social distancing, gave advice to senior citizens to stay at home, and requested people not to hoard essential or indulge in panic buying.

The PM also urged the citizens to a call for a nation-wide curfew on 22nd March. It was named ‘Janta curfew’ , in which he asked the people to stay at their home from 7 AM till 9 PM, as a symbol of self restraint and social distancing.

In his speech, he also appealed to the citizens that at exactly 5 PM on the day of the ‘Janta curfew’, everybody should stand at their doors, balconies and windows of their homes, and applaud for the doctors, nurses, and other personals who are risking their lives to save others from coronavirus.

This standing ovation gesture can be seen worldwide, in which people in Spain, Italy, Iran have done it to boost the spirit of the ones who cannot takes any leaves and are risking their lives to save others.

Now, according to me, the PM also wanted to show a similar gesture of appreciation. In his speech, he also mentioned that it should last for around five minutes. But people went crazy after 5 PM. In many places, people jolted out, started singing, chanting, dancing, taking out rallies, also hugging each other and bursting crackers.

The PM addressed the nation in Hindi, so to rhyme with taali (clap), he must have have used the word thali (utensils). In the Hindu culture, people light lamps and ring bells at dusk, reciting the names of their deities. Dusk hits at around 5 PM, so that might have been the reason that he used the words, taali, thali and ghanti (bells). It would have generated a blissful sound of appreciation. But the scenario was otherwise.

The reason for this may be the spread of fake news on various social media platforms. Many posts were circulated, claiming that the virus cannot last for more than 12 hours in open spaces. Along with it, there was another news saying that 22nd March is Amavasa (no moon) night, and if we all make noise, the virus will die and omens will run away. Many people fell for it and created a hoax in the name of social distancing.

India is currently at the second stage. Till date, there are nine confirmed deaths and around 500 positive cases of coronavirus. If we don’t take major precautions now, then, going by the population of our nation, this outbreak will turn disastrous.

The media should circulate proper news and should not mislead their viewers in the name of TRP. People also must double check the source of the information they receive before falling for it and forwarding it. It’s high time, if we don’t take care of ourselves now, then there might be no tomorrow for us.

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