As the low key Durga puja celebrations have finally come to an end with the immersion of idols yesterday in different temporary lakes under strict adherence of Covid-19 norms. Social media platforms can now be seen burning with a heated discussion on the preparation of upcoming Kali Puja celebrations and Kartik Purnima.
It is a well-known fact that people of Odisha are epitomes of cultural values and traditions; none can beat their devotion in performing the rituals of any festival. But due to the unprecedented pandemic, the devotees were restricted from offering prayers at Durga puja pandals and also pandals were asked to close all their entry points, in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Even in a historical decision, for the first time, the state government directed the puja committees to revise their idol heights to 4ft than their regular size of the idol they used to make every year, given to avoid mass congregation during Covid-19 pandemic. But still considering the aesthetic values, Orissa High Court permitted nine puja committees of the silver city to hold idol of Goddess Durga more than 4ft.
Now citing the example of Calcutta High Court, who partly modified its order on community Durga puja, allowing the drummers to perform inside the no-entry zone and allowing around 60 people to attend the Durga Puja celebrations in mandaps, under strict adherence of Covid-19 norms, amidst pandemic. People of state now rise to the question of administration merely making fun of the emotions of devotees by taking advantage of the Covid-19 situation and smoothly turning up Covid-19 norms into barriers for carrying out devotional activities in the state.
Also, tension ran high at silver city after the Shanti committee without any objection accepted all the restrictions imposed by the administration in organizing the Durga Puja, keeping in view the Covid-19 norms. Of which people alleged that for administration, devotion is a mere staged drama, irrespective of any emotions attached to it.
People of state strongly believe that norms are made by the administration to ensure the safety of people from the deadly virus. Still, it is fruitfully implemented only with the cooperation of the society and in no way do devotion violate any Covid-19 guidelines.
Besides, as the by-poll election is underway and door-to-door campaigning is allowed in the state, the idea behind social distancing mandatory in time of Covid seems blacked out in terms of government affairs because according to new standard, virtually rally to address people in times of pandemic is getting into more trends and is being widely appreciated in all corners of society.
Further, now the people of the state are just waiting for the government decision fresh guidelines on the celebration of the upcoming festival, giving a bit priority to the devotion of the devotees.
By-Interview Times Bureau