Forced solidarity? Denizens against power outage
Citizens of Kohima observes the April 5 9 pm, 9 minutes call with songs and prayers.
Morung Express News
Dimapur | April 5
In what seemed to be an enforcement of the appeal made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to turn off all lights and light candles/ diyas at 9pm on April 5, many parts of Dimapur faced power outage around 8:58 pm.
While many people were also lighting candles and diyas, some even bursting firecrackers, the move to cut off power supply did not sit well with some sections of the people.
It may be noted that April 5 was also Palm Sunday, a holy day for Christians marking the start of the Holy Week.
Owing to the COVID-19 lockdown, it was a quiet affair this year as usual church services were substituted by home fellowship.
However, reacting to the "forced solidarity", people were seen coming out of their homes and shouting “Hosanna, Praise the Lord and Hallelujah.”
"Airport area all dark and people shouting Praise the Lord and also sound of banging of plates," a WhatsApp user reported.
Reports and videos were also received from Dimapur and Kohima about people lighting their mobile flashlights and shouting praises to God.
After the PM's appeal to switch off lights at homes, there were concerns that the blackout may impact the electricity grid due to sudden drop in peak power demand. The Power Ministry had allayed those fears, stating that they were 'misplaced' and that all precautions were being taken to handle the fluctuation in demand.
While the State power department could not be reached for comments, citizens voiced surprise at how the appeal became an enforcement.
"We are willing to offer support in any manner, but not when it is forced like this," said K Awomi from Dimapur.
"I think it should be voluntary. Cutting off power supply like this is totally uncalled for," said Ano.
Some areas in Dimapur did not face power cut, according to reports.
Meanwhile, some people found humor in the confusion. "Coronavirus is dead now, we're all safe" commented one WhatsApp user.
"Everyone is confused tonight... Some lights off and praying, some lights on and shouting, some crackers, some singing… Even Corona is confused," said another user.
"So much for cracker ban," commented another person and questioned the logic behind the fireworks.
By the time social media was filled with mixed reactions to the power cut, the power was restored around 9:21 pm in Dimapur.