Lockdown Until May 3 and the 7 Tasks by PM Modi


Lockdown Until May 3 and the 7 Tasks by PM Modi

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Prime Minister Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown until May 3 today. “In my discussions with the state governments, and various stakeholders, one thing was unanimous: That we should extend the lockdown. So, I announce today that the lockdown will be extended till May 3,” Modi said in an address to the nation that lasted around 30 minutes.

Measures would be more stringent for the next week. “Until April 20, we will evaluate how different states are dealing with the pandemic. States which will not let hotspots increase, they could be allowed to let some important activities resume, but with certain conditions,” PM Modi said.

In his earlier addresses, Modi had asked Indians to clap from their balconies, clang utensils, and light candles to honour frontline workers. We all know how that turned out, with people partying on streets and houses catching fire. This time, the PM has given us a more practical to-do list.

  1. Take care of the elders in your family
  2. Strictly follow guidelines of lockdown
  3. Increase immunity, follow Ayush ministry guidelines
  4. Download the Arogya Setu App
  5. Help poor families
  6. Don’t sack your employees
  7. Respect corona warriors

He said the country has benefited from social-distancing measures and the lockdown. “Yes, we had to pay a price but that’s not more important than the lives of Indians.”

The announcement drew a flurry of reactions on social media.

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah asked people to cooperate with authorities, so we don’t get a further extension in May.

Congress’s Shashi Tharoor supported the move to extend lockdown but said more could have been done on the economic front.

Advocate Prashant Bhusan echoed that sentiment, saying migrants need income support. The PM mentioned in his address that easing the difficulty of the poor is among his top priorities.

Journalist Vidya Krishnan asked why it was only the people being asked to do things, while the government was shirking its responsibility.

The memes started flowing in within minutes of the address.

TBH, the 25-minute announcement could have been an email.

That’s one way to put it.

Task kahaan hai? What is this behaviour, Modi ji?

I quit.

WhatsApp, where you at?

What everyone’s feeling.

With the lockdown extended until May 3, all we can do is follow social-distancing measures and stay safe.

May the Fourth Be With You.