It is good that the Jharkhand government has come out with comprehensive guidelines for Durga Puja celebrations in the state. The restrictions imposed on the scale and grandeur of the puja celebrations were need of the hour and must be welcomed by everyone.
Covid-19 remains a big concern in the state as the number of deaths continues to rise, while fresh cases too are being detected with regularity. Till date, Jharkhand has lost 729 people to the virus and this is not a normal piece of data.
To put things in perspective, Kerala’s death toll due to the pandemic stands at 771. It has a population of 3.48 crores. Jharkhand’s population is 3.19 cr. So, in terms of population as well as death toll both are nearly equal. Despite this, Kerala has had to impose Section 144 on October 3 and this will remain effective till October 31.
Kerala has had to take recourse to strict enforcement of Section 144 and lockdown rules because there has been a rapid spike in new Covid-19 cases in the state.
In our state, the people on the streets seem to be completely oblivious to the threats of virus infection. They are going about their daily activities as if corona has already become a thing of the past.
In our cities, Durga Puja witnesses major congregations of people. These congregations could have impacted the population in a big way.
The state government must be lauded for coming out with a detailed guidelines and for allowing the puja rituals, even while taking out all incentives for congregations.
The guidelines issued for Durga Puja celebrations do not sound good and considerate for the common citizen eager to go into a celebration mode. But there is no other way to save the communities and populations from the risk of infection.
Our state and city are in the midst of a major war against coronavirus. We need to comply with all the restrictions and ensure that we do not see a spurt in the infections in coming days. If Kerala has gone for Section 144 to contain the pandemic, there is no reason, why we can’t comply with some restrictions on puja celebrations for saving lives.