Oberhausen : As the world is fighting COVID-19 pandemic, the initiatives taken by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to keep the country from slipping into despondency are being praised by western experts.
In a video message, PM Modi today urged people across India to switch off their lights and hold candles, lamps and flashlights at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5, for 9 minutes in a nationwide show of solidarity, to fight the darkness of coronavirus.
Comparing the situation with other countries experts said the leadership of most nations is running out of ideas on how to keep hope alive as nations like the U.S. sink deeper into trouble.
While lighting a candle will not deal with the COVID-19 challenge, it will keep India focused on the initiatives being undertaken by its leadership, say experts.
Claudia Wadlich Heidelberg, a German expert on South Asian affairs told ANI, “It is an effective measure to reach out to all people in the vast sub-continent, to strengthen their sense of responsibility and sense of community and to honour those who work tirelessly against the virus”.
She added, “In our comparatively small countries in Europe, we encourage each other. In Italy, people stand on their balconies at a certain time and applaud the doctors and nurses. Such campaigns were also sporadic in Germany. And the church bells ring here at 7 pm. Surprisingly, all Germans are united in the hope that they will soon be able to overcome the virus”.
Citing Singapore’s decision to lockdown for one month, South-Asia experts said: “clearly the World is following India’s path and this decision by Singapore is proof of that.”
“The video statement in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called upon Indian citizens to light a candle at 9 pm for 9 minutes on Sunday will be a great sign of national unity that will cultivate a deep-rooted sense of security among a shaken populace”, said Dr Amjad Ayub, a journalist based in Glasgow.
He added: “It will bring all faiths and ethnic groups together in their fight against the menace caused by Corona pandemic”.
According to India’s health ministry, the COVID-19 cases in the country now stand at 2,567 with 72 deaths and 192 cured of the infection.
Worldwide, the number of coronavirus infections has passed the one million mark with more than 53,000 deaths. (ANI)