Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 29th, 2020 sought forgiveness from the people of the nation for putting poor people in trouble by ordering a complete 21-day lockdown in the country but said the fight against novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is one of life and death.
Speaking to the nation via Mann Ki Baat, Modi said, “I apologise for taking these harsh decisions which have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor. I know some of you would be angry with me also. But, my conscience tells me that you will definitely forgive me.”
He added, “When I look at my poor brothers and sisters, I definitely feel that they must be thinking what kind of a Prime minister is this who has placed us in this situation. But, these tough measures were needed to win this battle against COVID-19. You have to show patience as the lockdown is for you to protect you and your family.”
Modi had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown in his address on March 24th, 2020 as a measure to tackle the transmission of coronavirus that has infected over 900 people and killed 25 in India so far. Modi had earlier called for a 14-hour Janta Curfew on March 22nd, 2020.
In his address, the Prime Minister urged the Indians to show courage and resolve, follow “Lakshman Rekha” for several days more.
The Prime Minister also urged people to take up old hobbies such as gardening, music during lockdown to deal with isolation.
Modi announced a new fund for citizens – Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES) and urged the people to donate to fight against coronavirus.
The Centre on March 26th, 2020 also announced a financial package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for the people who need immediate help in the wake of COVID-19 like migrant workers and urban and rural poor.
“Together, India will defeat COVID-19. Stay home today, for a better and healthier tomorrow,” Modi said.