Residents gather in large numbers at Andheri West, Mumbai

Mumbai residents defied the government’s advice of social distancing by taking to the streets for ‘Corona Garba’

PM Modi in a message to the citizens of India asked them to ‘taali bajao’ and ‘thaali bajao’ at 5pm which means to clap, beat steel plates and ring bells during the ‘Janata curfew’ on March 22.

This was an aim to express gratitude and respect to the health workers and first responders risking their lives and working tirelessly during the coronavirus outbreak.

The situation went out of control on Sunday evening when people defied the social distancing advice and assembled in large numbers at several locations.

Social media was filled with videos of people on the sidewalks, cheering, banging plates, dancing, organizing huge rallies and even playing ‘Corona Garba.’

A local resident from Kandivali East, Shubham Chourewar, 26, said: “Modi knows the people of India and how we just need an excuse to be loud and party on the roads.”

Shubham Chourewar

“It is high time that India looks at other countries and takes this pandemic seriously, one day of lockdown is not going to have any serious effect.”

Mumbai woke up to deserted streets in view of the 14-hour ‘Janata Curfew’ which simply means ‘public curfew’ introduced to monitor the spread of coronavirus.

A deserted street in Fort, Mumbai

With residents confining themselves to homes and vehicles off the roads until the clocks turned five.

Groups of people rallied from Versova to the Juhu Beach and were heard chanting ‘go corona go.’

Taking a swipe over it, a medical student from D Y Patil University, Nikhil Dube, 23, said: “Our Prime Minister said that no one is taking this pandemic seriously but how does he expect the people to do that when he has made a mockery out of this entire situation.

Nikhil Dube

“I think he is underestimating this virus and we will have to bear the consequences for his irresponsibility.”

Several Bollywood celebrities criticized the celebrations and the defiance of the government’s orders.

They took to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their frustrations.