A different Diwali: Many across Punjab, Haryana pay tributes to soldiers
As fireworks lit the sky and earthen lamps dotted houses across Punjab and Haryana, and their joint capital Chandigarh, on Diwali, people at several places paid tribute to soldiers who laid down their lives.punjab Updated: Oct 31, 2016 18:30 IST
As fireworks lit the sky and earthen lamps dotted houses across Punjab and Haryana, and their joint capital Chandigarh, on Diwali, people at several places paid tribute to soldiers who laid down their lives.
In Kurukshetra’s Antehri, the native village of army jawan Mandeep Singh, who was killed by terrorists in Macchil sector of Jammu and Kashmir, ‘diyas’ were lit in each house in his memory. The villagers decided not to celebrate Diwali as a mark of respect to Singh’s sacrifice.
In many other places across the two states, people paid tributes to soldiers who laid down their lives by lighting ‘diyas’ in their memory.
Diwali revelry started in the evening with people exchanging greetings and sweets, and bursting firecrackers.
In Chandigarh, Diwali was a bit different this time as cracker shops across the city saw a decline in buyers with most opting for a ‘green Diwali’.
“We decided to celebrate ‘green Diwali’ this time to protect our environment as most firecrackers cause air and sound pollution,” Shivam, a Class 6 student in Chandigarh, said, adding an awareness campaign was also held in his school.
Security was heightened across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, especially in and around vital installations, markets and places of worship, officials said.
Devotees made a beeline at temples and gurdwaras to offer prayers.
The Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine, in Amritsar glittered with lights and traditional ‘diyas’. It witnessed a huge rush of devotees who took a dip in its holy tank and offered prayers at the sanctum sanctorum.
Langar (community kitchen) arrangements were made for more than four lakh devotees who will stay in the temple all through Diwali night.
Meanwhile, Bandi Chhor Divas (prisoner release day) was celebrated in Punjab, to mark the historical release of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind, from the Mughal prison along with 52 kings in 1620.
Guru Hargobind after his release directly reached the Golden Temple, whereupon the holy city was illuminated and decorated and people lit earthen lamps to celebrate his release.
This year, the outer area of the temple was also given a festive look.
Punjab Government showcased the plaza, developed at a cost of Rs 250 crore at the temple’s main entrance. A giant LED screen has been installed on way to the temple to screen ‘live gurbani’ (recital) everyday for an hour.