Maharashtra bans garba, dandiya and processions for Navratri
The Maharashtra government has prohibited garba, dandiya and other cultural celebrations for Navratri, to be celebrated between October 7 and October 15. It has restricted the height of the idols to four feet for community pandals and two feet for household celebrations. It has asked the organisers of community pandals to make arrangements for online darshans and banned more than five people at a time in community pandals. It has further prohibited processions and foods and beverages in community pandals.
An order with detailed guidelines was issued by the state home department on Monday. Even though the second wave of Covid-19 has gone, the threat of Covid-19 is still looming large and thus crowding to celebrate the festival will not be a good idea. It is necessary for the people to take all sorts of precautions, while celebrating Navratri, said the state government in its circular.
“Do not organize garba, dandiya or any other cultural programmes. Instead, give priority to organise health camps such as blood donation and awareness programmes for prevention of Covid-19, malaria and dengue, among others. The community mandals should make arrangements for online darshan of the idols through cable network, website, Facebook and other social media platforms, stated the circular.
“Do not allow more than five people at a time in community pandals. Foods and beverages have also been strictly prohibited in the community pandals. Ensure no crowding while holding bhajan, aarti and kirtan and noise pollution norms are also followed. The same rules will be applicable even for the Rawan Dahan event,” it added.
“Do not organise any procession either for home arrival or immersions of the idols. The traditional ‘aarti’ shall be performed at home, instead of the immersion places. Children and senior citizens should avoid going for immersions,” it stated.
The state government further asked the people to avoid traditional idols and use idols made up of metal or marble for worshipping. If the idols installed are made of clay or are eco-friendly, then they can be immersed at home itself. If not possible at home, the idols should be immersed in a nearby artificial pond.