This Navratri, only aarti in Gujarat, no garba

Without precedent for the historical backdrop of Gujarat, there will be no garbas during the nine evenings of Navratri. The legislature of Gujarat from the get-go Friday declared that because of the Covid-19 pandemic, no consent will be given for sorting out garbas this year at business settings or private provinces.

In light of a legitimate concern for general wellbeing, the legislature of Gujarat gave rules for public get-togethers and bubbly festivals during Navratri, Dussehra, Sharad Poornima, Diwali and New Year, compelling from October 16.

“Permission will not be given to organise sheri (lane) garbas or commercial garbas anywhere in the state. During Navratri, the government will only allow installation of the idol and pooja and aarti, that too only at open grounds. Touching the idol or distribution of prasad will not be allowed. Permission from the local administration must be sought before these,” according to a statement issued by the state government.

“More than 200 people cannot gather at any given place and proceedings must be completed within an hour. The standard operating procedure must be followed during this,” the government further stated.

The administration choice didn’t come as a shock as large players across Gujarat have just ruled against holding garbas. “We had taken the decision much earlier to not organize Navratri garbas this year due to the pandemic. Moreover, with sponsorships dwindling over the past few years, chances of funding are also bleak,” said Himanshu Shah of Soi Live Events in Ahmedabad.

The circumstance in Surat is comparable. Denny Nirban, an occasion coordinator stated, “Looking at the pandemic situation, I am strictly against public celebration of Navratri. I would advise youngsters that they could be risking the health of their parents and elderly people in their house over garbas.”

The administration choice is a mistake for garba fans, in any case, most courtesy security over festivals.