Mumbai: With less than 20 days left to start Navratri, the Maharashtra state government on Tuesday issued guidelines for the celebrations of Navratri in the wake of the Coronavirus
In the 16-point guidelines issued ahead of Navratri, Durga Puja and Dasara, state home ministry stated that these festivals should be observed in simple manner.
Home Ministry also advised cancellation of garba and dandiya events as well as the processions of first and last day of Navratri. In this year, Navratri will start on October 17, with Dusshera on October 25.
Government has advised mandals to conduct health-related events or camps, such as blood donation camps, instead of the crowd attracting cultural events.
“We are ready to follow guidelines, but it would have been better had the government taken us into confidence. Just like IPL (Indian Premier League), we would have proposed broadcast of performances from the ground. At least it would have helped artistes. But the current guidelines are not clear on that aspect.” Ganesh Naidu, the organiser of Kora Kendra Dandiya commented on the ban on garba events.
The state mandated the use of idols made up of metal otherwise eco friendly ones with a height of 4 feets, instead of idols made of plaster of Paris (PoP). And these idols should be immersed at or the artificial ponds, which constructed by local bodies near pandals as immersion at public places will not be allowed. As well as state said no to procession on both arrival and immersion of the idols.
As per the guidelines, in the case of Aarti, Bhajan or Kirtan care should be taken to avoid crowding and observing noise pollution-related norms and encouraged the use of online means for Devi darshan.
Ravan Dahan should be celebrated in a symbolic manner, with small number of people. Gathering of more than five people in pandals and serving food or beverages are also prohibited.