Coronavirus: Bollywood celebrities light candles and diyas in mark of solidarity
From Rajinikanth to Amitabh Bachchan, many big-ticket stars posted pictures as a symbol of strength and unity
At 9pm on Sunday, April 5, lights were switched off across India as people lit candles and diyas for nine minutes.
It was part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “9pm for 9 minutes” initiative, asking the nation for a show of solidarity and resolve in fighting against the virus.
People from all walks of life were spotted taking part in the collective country-wide gesture – from businessmen (including Mukhesh Ambani, widely known as the richest man in the country), to sports personalities and rickshaw drivers.
Some also took to lighting torches, using their mobile phone’s flashlight or bursting firecrackers to show their support.
The initiative comes just a few weeks after Narendra Modi urged citizens to show their appreciation for medical workers by clapping from their balconies at 5pm, Wednesday, during the Janata Curfew.
India is currently under a complete lockdown for 21 days starting March 25 in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic which, at time of publishing, has over 3,500 confirmed cases and resulted in more than 80 deaths.
Here’s a look at some Bollywood stars who led the way in the tribute on Sunday night:
Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli
The Bollywood actress and her cricketer husband posted sweet pictures of them lighting diyas.
The actress put out a post accompanying the picture, sending prayers to everyone who has been affected by the virus. Kohli shared her post, writing “a prayer in unity does make a difference. Pray for every being and stand together.”
The star eschewed the candles and diyas in favour of a torch that he shone into the night sky.
Bachchan is leading the "We Are One" initiative, which aims to subsidise the living costs of 100,000 Indian households, supporting people who work for the All India Film Employees Confederation. He has also been promoting a short film Family, about Covid-19, which is set to air on Monday night in India:
The Airlift actor posted a picture of himself holding a candle with a short but sweet message. “Together we stand and together we will come out of this dark phase. Till then, stay strong, stay safe,” he wrote.
The South Indian celebrity also joined the movement, adding the hashtags #StayHomeStaySafe and #IndiaFightsCoronavirus.
The star posted pictures of herself lighting candles, along with a quote from Rumi. “Lighting the feeling of hope, positivity and strength with my family. We are all in this together,” she added.
The actress posted a video showing her line-up of diyas. “In this time of self-isolation, when the anxiety of loneliness is at its peak – it is important to keep the fire burning and remember that we are all in this together,” she added.
Updated: April 6, 2020 05:34 PM