Gujarat will play safe in the upcoming festivals, beginning Navratri. Considering the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the Gujarat government has decided not to allow Garba during Navratri from October 16.
While detailed guidelines are awaited, the state government has clearly said that only photographs or statue of the deities can be placed and the worship will have to be done in stipulated time frame of one hour and that too with number of people not exceeding 200.
A state government spokesperson told THE WEEK on Friday that Garba will neither be allowed in public places or lanes. No type of Garba will be allowed anywhere, he specified.
Strict guidelines have been also issued for Dussehra festival, Diwali and New Year.
Earlier, the Gujarat government had cancelled state-level Navratri festival.
During his tenure as the chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi had marketed Gujarat’s Navratri festival–Garba–as the “longest dancing festival in the world”.
The government said that people will not be allowed to touch the photo frame of statue of the deity. Prasad distribution will also be not allowed.
The organisers will have to follow the standard operating procedures for COVID-19. Senior citizens and children below 10 years should ideally not take part in these programmes, the government suggested.
Even for just puja, the organisers will have to take permission from the authorised body.