With the festival of Navratri starting from today, the unabating pandemic has left the various organisers of Durga Puja and Dusserah celebrations in Namma Bengaluru with a conundrum – to publically celebrate the festival or give it a skip for the year. The absence of clarity from the authorities on whether Durga Puja could be celebrated, advised modality, permissions, etc has furthered the confusion.
A recent development with regards to a plea presented by Maitree Bandhan (an umbrella cultural organization with which 70 puja committees in Bangalore is registered) to BBMP Commissioner Shri Manjunatha Prasad, IAS could provide some relief from the state of confusion to these organisers. In a meeting with Maitree Bandhan, facilitated by Shri S.Raghu, Honourable MLA, C.V.Raman Nagar Assembly Constituency, The Commissioner consented to the plea, requesting all organisers to adhere to the letter and spirit of the guidelines issued by the Govt of India for observing religious festivals.
Shri Sumanta Paul, General Secretary of Maitree Bandhan, on behalf of all Puja organisers of Bengaluru expressed gratitude and thanks to BBMP, Shri Manjunatha Prasad, and Shri S.Raghu for their consideration. However, given the lack of time, Shri Sumanta expected the number of organization celebrating the festival publically to come down significantly. Those who open their ‘Pandals’ to the public would have to ensure maximum precautionary measures like sanitization, use of masks, avoid crowding and social distancing. Organizers have also been advised not to have food stalls, within the puja celebration premises. Shri Sumanta expressed confidence that despite all restriction, there would be no dampening in the spirit of faith and devotion to the worship of The Goddess, Devi Durga, who is believed to be on her annual visit during the 4 days of celebration, to her maternal home, the mortal world, and bless all devotees, considered her children.
The public is allowed in the below-mentioned places for pujas.
1. Socio-cultural Association( Indiranagar): Puja happening all 4 days and the public will be allowed darshan ( no puja offering)
2. Electronic city Kali bari: Puja happening all 4 days. Puja offering and darshan for the public allowed.
3. BDPC ( Manpho convention center): Only Ashtami will be celebrated and darshan for the public allowed.