While citizens welcomed Lord Ganesha idol in their residence as the Ganesh Chaturthi began on Saturday, Aug 22, it wasn’t easy for them to see this day easily. A month back, amidst all the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) news, people hardly could believe that Ganeshotsav will be observed with the same participation as it was in the past years. However, there were still a substantial population who believed that Ganeshotsav will be celebrated with full swing as the effect of the outbreak may subside by then.
The whole hope came to standstill after the Supreme Court, on Friday, August 21, announced that no celebration on account of Ganesh Chaturthi would be observed at all in Maharashtra. The decision was made in view of corona virus contagion, ANI reported. The festival involves large congregations and no concessions can be given, stated a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde. The apex court observed the severity of the situation by allowing Jain Temples at Chembur, Byculla, and Dadar in Mumbai to open for the last two day days of Paryushan i.e. August 22 and 23, and stressed that the Centre’s Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) should be followed strictly.
“This concession cannot be applied to any other temple or for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations which involve large congregations.” the apex court stated. “We must make it clear that the order in this case does not extend to any other trust or any other temples. Our order is not intended to apply in any other case, particularly which involves a large congregation of people which by their very nature cannot be controlled.” said the CJI.
The court also mentioned that matters of Ganesh Chaturthi will be handled by the State Government on the basis of merit. “Permission for Ganpati festival will have to be taken on a case-to-case basis from Maharashtra Disaster Management Authority,” the SC underlined. Not only the celebrations are declined but a list of Guidelines for Mumbai is also released. Find them below:
- The idols need to be eco-friendly and not more than 2 Ft. at home, and 4 Ft. publicly.
- The idols should be of marble or metal so as to avoid immersion, as requested by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
- Large procession on arrival and departure of idols is prohibited. No more than 5 people should be involved in the activity.
- It is the advisory to follow social distancing norms, wear masks and shields and carry hand sanitizers.
The whole Lord Ganesha worshippers may have been disheartened by the apex court’s order, however, looking at the severity of the situation due to Pandemic, the mass of people are observing precautions during Ganeshotsav celebration. We wish everyone a happy and safe Ganeshotsav celebration.