With daily addition of Covid-19 cases registering more than 1,400, the Gujarat government has decided not to hold the nine-night Navratri festival this year. Chief minister Vijay Rupani announced that it would not hold the state-level ‘Navratri Mahotsav’ at Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) ground, a major attraction for the revellers every year.
Durga Puja celebration committees have also decided to scale down their festivities. Bengal Cultural Association, which has been organising city’s biggest Durga Puja for the past 80 years, plans a ‘virtual puja’ which would be beamed live through Internet network.
An idol of Goddess Durga and her children would be installed at the Kali Bari premises but devotees would be expected to visit briefly maintaining social distances. Other Durga Puja organisers have also decided to keep the celebrations and gatherings at bare minimum without any cultural programmes and food stalls.
Organisers of Durga pujas and Garba dances during Navratri are keeping their fingers crossed about the nature of their celebrations as the government has not yet clarified its stand about the ‘quantum’ of permission to be finally granted.
Demand for permission to local Garba events are continuing from the entertainment industry, suppliers of musical instruments, lighting, decorators and food stall owners but the government is likely to take a firm stand in view of rising Covid cases in the state.