NEW DELHI: Asking people to observe Ramzan as a time of restraint, sensitivity and service, Prime Minister Narendra Modi
expressed hope that the pandemic would have been tackled by the time of Eid, clearing the way for the festival to be celebrated with the usual enthusiasm.
In his radio programme “Mann Ki Baat” on Sunday, Modi made a renewed pitch for social distancing
and said, “The last time when Ramzan was celebrated, no one had imagined that we would be facing such a huge predicament this time around. But now that this trouble has come to plague the entire world, it gives us an opportunity to mark this Ramzan as an icon of restraint, goodwill, sensitivity and service.”
He added, “This time, we should pray more than ever before so that prior to the celebration of Eid, the world is rid of corona and we celebrate Eid with enthusiasm and gaiety like earlier times. I am confident that during these days of Ramzan, by adhering to the guidelines of the local administration, we will reinforce our fight against corona.”
Maintaining his focus on the need to remain indoors and suggesting that some restrictions will be needed even after the lockdown, the PM said, “It is still very important to follow the rules of physical distancing in the streets, in the markets and in mohallas or colonies. Today, I also express my gratitude to all those community leaders who are making people aware about the two-yard distancing and not going out of houses.” Muslim clerics and leaders have appealed to the community to avoid gatherings during Ramzan.
Modi underlined the need for people to avoid being “overconfident” even if the virus had not reached the vicinity of their neighbourhoods. “Let us not get caught in the trap of over-confidence, let us not harbour the feeling that if corona has not yet reached our city, our village, our street or our office, it is not going to reach now,” he said and added, “Never make such a mistake.”
The PM recalled that some countries where caution was not maintained had to pay a heavy price. “Where caution has been lowered, accident has happened,” Modi said and recited a Sanskrit shloka meaning fire, debt and illness, if taken lightly, assume dangerous proportions.
He said the battle against the coronavirus was “people driven” and urged the youth to come forward and showcase the country’s soft powers like ayurveda to the world so that it got recognition the way yoga has been acknowledged globally as a major tool to improve immunity.
Modi said the crisis had emerged as an opportunity as from metropolises to villages, a “mahayagna” was being performed in the realm of the national ethos where every individual was eager to contribute.