Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday urged residents to launch a powerful motion in opposition to coronavirus and stated he prayed to Lord Ganesh to destroy all “evil and negativity” because the 10-day competition devoted to the deity started amid the pandemic and looming risk of a 3rd wave.
Folks welcomed Lord Ganesh of their houses and pandals in Mumbai and different components of Maharashtra with out pomp and gaiety and with give attention to on-line ”darshan” to keep away from gathering because the state authorities has made it clear it doesn’t need to take any likelihood in view of an uptick in circumstances, particularly within the metropolis.
For the second straight 12 months, the pandemic solid an extended shadow on Ganesh Chaturthi festivities with the Maharashtra authorities putting a slew of restrictions to keep away from gathering and processions.
Urging residents to strictly observe coronavirus norms, the CM stated folks’s well being was extra necessary than any competition.
”We have to work in direction of eradicating the pandemic completely by behaving as accountable residents. Within the final two years, now we have been pressured to impose restrictions in celebrations.”
“Folks’s lives and well being are extra necessary than any competition. I’m assured Lord Ganesh, who known as Vighnaharta (one who removes all hurdles) will destroy the evil virus,” he stated.
Mr Thackeray requested residents to make use of the competition to launch a motion to eliminate coronavirus by staying alert and following all norms.
“Similar to Lokmanya Tilak used the Ganeshotav to encourage folks to battle the British, all mandals and organisations ought to use the competition to create consciousness about virus and guarantee it’s completely destroyed,” Mr Thackeray stated.
He was talking after performing the customary puja at his official residence ”Varsha” in south Mumbai, the place he welcomed Lord Ganesh.
Chief of Opposition within the Meeting Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP reiterated his demand for reopening locations of worship, saying livelihood of individuals related to them was severely impacted.
The competition, the preferred and awaited spiritual occasion in Maharashtra, begins on Ganesh Chaturthi and ends on Anant Chaturdashi 10 days later with immersion of idols.
The Maharashtra authorities has banned bodily ”darshan” of Lord Ganesh at neighborhood pandals (marquees) and stated solely on-line ”darshan” or telecast from pandals could be allowed.
Citing the COVID-19 scenario, the Mumbai police have imposed orders underneath CrPC part 144 prohibiting meeting of 5 or extra individuals through the Ganesh competition between September 10 to 19.
No processions of any sort could be allowed in Mumbai throughout this era and devotees wouldn’t be allowed to go to Ganesh pandals both, an official assertion stated on Thursday.
Folks can have “darshan” of Ganesh idols put in in pandals by the web mode or by different digital media (equivalent to TV), it stated.
The Maharashtra house division has issued a round banning visits to pandals in order to stop the unfold of the viral an infection.
Additionally, the peak Lord Ganesh idols to be put in has been restricted.
In Mumbai, there are round 12,000 sarvajanik (neighborhood) mandals and almost two lakh houses the place idols of the deity are put in.
The same old pomp was lacking since processions have been banned. Lord Ganesh made a quiet entry into the houses of his devotees.
Naresh Dahibavkar, president, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, instructed PTI that in comparison with final 12 months, when 90 per cent of the mandals had celebrated the competition in view of the coronavirus outbreak, this 12 months all of them are putting in idols of the deity.
The samiti is an umbrella physique of Ganesh mandals that coordinates the competition between the BMC and authorities companies.
Final 12 months, Lalbaghcha Raja, Mumbai’s most well-known mandal, had cancelled the celebration, whereas Wadala’s GSB Sewa Samiti, one other well-known mandal, had postponed the celebration to Magh Shudh charturthi in February this 12 months.
“The competition shall be celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety not like final 12 months because the COVID-19 vaccination drive is occurring and there’s consciousness amongst folks concerning the pandemic,” Mr Dahibavkar stated.
“In view of the third wave risk, all authorities protocols for COVID-19- applicable behaviour are being noticed,” he stated.
Mr Dahibavkar criticised the federal government for banning bodily darshan.
“This has been performed on the final minute. The stake-holders weren’t consulted. Bodily darshan was banned final 12 months too. We’ll undergo heavy losses since there shall be no devotees to see the banners and posters of our sponsors,” he stated.
Livelihood of individuals related to the competition, which generates a turnover of Rs 70 crore to Rs 100 crore (in Mumbai), will proceed to be impacted as a result of pandemic, Mr Dahibavkar stated.
He stated Ganesh mandals have contributed to the state authorities’s efforts to supply aid to folks in flood-affected Konkan area and have additionally been doing social actions.
“The federal government ought to have thought-about our issues too,” he stated, including, “The mandals have contributed Rs 40 lakh in direction of flood aid,” he stated.
The state authorities has issued an order to ban bodily darshan at mandals and stated no more than ten folks (who must be absolutely vaccinated) could be allowed to carry the idol which shouldn’t be greater than four toes in top (at marquees).
Dwelling idols shouldn’t be greater than two toes in top and solely 5 folks (absolutely vaccinated) shall be allowed to accompany the idol.
The administration has put restrictions throughout immersion of idols as effectively.
Within the final two days, markets had been overcrowded with folks making purchases to welcome the elephant-headed God, elevating considerations concerning the lack of bodily distancing.
The GSB Sewa Mandal, which installs the idol for 5 days at Kings Circle in Mumbai, stated this 12 months’s celebrations shall be easy.
It stated over the last one 12 months, the mandal has distributed meals to family of sufferers in authorities hospitals and was within the forefront of aid and rehabilitation efforts throughout Konkan floods in July.
“We’ll have a good time the competition religiously like yearly however with none devotee visiting the pandal as per authorities pointers,” the GSB Sewa Mandal stated in an announcement.
Reside darshan shall be on the mandal’s social media platform, it stated.
A number of celebrities and political leaders additionally put in the deity at their houses.
In Pune too, devotees welcomed the elephant-headed God of their houses and at pandals. Key Ganesh mandals in Pune, together with 5 ”manache” (revered ) mandals, carried out ”pranpratishtha” (set up) of idols in pandals (marquees) following COVID-19 protocols.
Mahesh Suryavanshi, a trustee at Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati, stated the ”pranpratishtha” of Pune’s ost endearing deity, was carried out inside the primary temple in a easy method.
The civic administration has appealed to all Ganesh mandals to have a good time the competition in a easy method and make preparations for on-line ”darshan” for devotees.
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)
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