When Prime Minister Narendra Modi called upon the citizens of India to volunteer for a self-imposed curfew, what he described as Janta Curfew, the extent of its impact was unfathomable. On March 22, 2020, from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM, no one apart from those involved with essential services were supposed to venture out of home. PM Modi added that the success of such a people’s movement and the experiences gained from it will prepare us for the challenges ahead. Modi added that these efforts would be a symbol of our self-restraint and determination to perform our duty in the national interest.
So on March 22, 2020, the nation unanimously chose to stay at home and away from the roads leading to some remarkable side effects. From clear blue sky, dropping air pollution and improving air quality to increased sightings of avifauna such as pigeons, parrots and sparrows in cities—this impact of the Janta Curfew was not accounted for, but we’re mighty glad for it.
Many users of the photo-sharing app Instagram and micro-blogging site Twitter took the platforms to share never before seen sights of their hometowns, clicked in the safety of their windows—car or home. Here are some of the images that took our breath away.
The nation’s capital and its main hubs were uninhabited with only pigeons taking flight. India Gate, Connaught Place, the snazzy flyovers and tree-covered lanes of Delhi were all vacant as these images shows us:
In Mumbai, the financial capital, a video of an empty Marine Drive did the rounds on social media. Bollywood photographer and paparazzo Manav Manglani shared the video on his Instagram.
This image is by photo of the solitary BEST bus on Marine Drive is melancholic and a reminder to be grateful to the essential services workforce who are our line of defense against COVID-19.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu took the Janta Curfew as an opportunity to take on city-wide santisation programme.
This drone shot of an empty junction in Ahmedabad is the perfect example of how effective PM Modi’s words were (until they weren’t).
The City of Joy also saw the Bengali Bhadralok stay indoors and keep his adda and cha confined to his home.
The empty flyovers on Coimbatore are showcase of how the Janta Curfew and its importance was understood even by smaller cities of India.
The panoramic view of Mahadwar Road in Kolhapur further establishes the importance of Janta Curfew.
The situation post 5:00 PM on March 22, 2020, took a
grotesque turn as people suddenly thronged building societies and road, banging
pots and pans and chanting and putting to waste the previous 10 hours’
Featured image: Courtesy Instagram.com | Viraj Nayar