Ganesh Chaturthi 2020: Fervour marks celebrations in Tamil Nadu
Chennai, Aug 22: Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated across Tamil Nadu with usual fervour on Saturday, although the trademark large idols of the elephant God were missing this year in lines with a government directive in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Chief Minister K Palaniswami held prayers at his residence in his native Salem, strictly following COVID-19 protocols, such as social distancing and wearing mask, with his family. The Tamil Nadu government had earlier banned installation of large Ganesha idols in public places in the state besides public worship and processions before the immersion of the idols in water bodies.
The government had appealed to the people to confine the celebrations to their homes. On Saturday, citizens turned up in good numbers to buy clay idols of the Lord to conduct puja at homes and in some places were seen compromising on social distancing norms.
For their part, vendors who put up temporary stalls to sell the images and flowers solicited customers, making the latter temporarily forget about the dreaded Coronavirus. Ahead of the festival, the Hindu Munnani, which is instrumental in organising the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and immersion, had appealed to the people to celebrate the Pillaiyar (as the Lord is known) Chaturthi safely due to the pandemic.
"We didn't want a procession this time owing to the spike in coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu and want the people to be safe," AT Elangovan, president, Hindu Munnani, Chennai, told reporters.
The organisation's state president Kadeswara C Subramaniam had announced that idols of Lord Ganesh will be installed in private places, houses and temples on Saturday and they will be immersed this evening by the outfit's members "without involving the public and by upholding the social distancing norms".