The Sunday of 22nd March was unlike all the Sundays India has ever witnessed. It was a day that reminded all Indians of the power of unity. PM Modi’s Taali Thali Naad gave every Indian the hope that we all can, together, fight the evil that has entered our country.
On 19th March 2020, in a televised address to the citizens of India, PM Narendra Modi announced the ‘Janta Curfew’ urging Indians to stay at home on 22nd March, Sunday, from 7 am to 9 pm. This was done to prevent people from gathering in public places in large crowds to control the spread of Coronavirus.
In addition to asking people to stay indoors and practice social distancing until the next two weeks, he also asked people to come to their windows, balconies or doors at 5 pm sharp and start clapping their hands, strike plates or bells as a way to thank professionals like doctors, nurses, police, cleaners, municipal officers, paramedics, airport staff and all those who are selflessly serving the people of the nation and protecting them against Coronavirus.
Post his address to the nation, a flood of mixed reactions gushed out from people. While some, welcomed the prime minister’s step, others called it a yet another ‘PR stunt by the PM’. Some felt this entire attempt to be futile and mere pomp because how could just a 14 hours nationwide curfew help? Moreover, this newly invented Taali Thali Naad seemed a rather stupid and kiddish act to many.
After PM, Narendra Modi made this announcement, one common message that started doing the rounds on social media platforms was that the sound Indians make would also be killing viruses, including Coronavirus. This was a complete hoax that people, especially elders, obviously ended up believing. So by Sunday, the entire clapping idea had turned it a dual motive.
Netizens took to social media to raise their opinions about the whole Taali Thali Naad. Some, largely those who are staunch supporters of PM Narendra Modi, praised him and swore to abide by his instructions. Others, very rightly, brought to the forefront, how the central government chose not to communicate to us, crucial information — of a structured plan or blueprint of how our government and the overall system plan on tackling a catastrophe that has engulfed the entire world.
Nevertheless, when the clocks finally struck 5 on Sunday, loud sounds of claps, plates, bells, conches, whistles, vessels, drums and also crackers reverberated in the air. From the poorest of poor and richest of rich, all engaged in uplifting the spirit and thanked the professionals for their tireless and selfless services they are offering to fight Covid-19. The whole of the nation did not just participate in it (even those who criticized the PM for this), but also thoroughly enjoyed it. By the end of 5 mins of clapping, all were doused with love, support, hope, positivity and patriotism.
National political leaders like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Yogi Adityanath, Smriti Irani, Sharad Pawar participated in the Taali Thali Naad, the entire Bollywood fraternity also played an active part.
This, however, overwhelmed some groups of Indians a little extra, as they started gathering in groups to celebrate the spirit of professionals. So amidst this, the whole idea of social distancing was completely lost to them.
Though yesterday, every single Indian was overwhelmed looking at the country’s love and support towards the professionals, we must not forget that, presently, the best way we can truly support them is to self isolate, not gather in groups, and just stay indoors. Social distancing is the only tool we currently have at our disposal, and we must strictly stick to it to keep our nation far from the worse situation countries like Italy, Spain, Iran, and US are currently facing.