A group of devotees perform ‘havan’ for Ramnavami at a temple in Bariatu area in Ranchi on ThursdayJAMSHEDPUR: This year’s Ram Navami, which was celebrated sans pomp on Thursday in the Steel City due to the nationwide lockdown , turned into a festival of lights to show solidarity with the corona warriors. In the wake of the district administrations not giving permission to the akharas and temples to organise the Ram Janmotsav programme in a grand way, the temple committees and akhara samities only illuminated their premises with diyas in large numbers as a thanksgiving gesture for the doctors, paramedics and others who are fighting to defeat the pandemic. “This year, Ram Navami lacked festive enthusiasm due to the lockdown but by way of lighting diyas we have made the event different and memorable,” said 51-year-old K N Mishra , a teacher in a private school and resident of Kadma. The akhara samities claimed that it is for the first time in 100 years that the Ram Navami procession is not being taken out. “Since the mid-1920s, the procession marked the culmination of Ram Navami festival in the city,” said Hindu Utsav Samiti functionary Arun Singh . Police, on the other hand, kept strict vigil across the city to ensure that the orders of the administration are observed by the puja committees. However, many devotees had turned up at the markets during the morning rush hour on Thursday to purchase puja materials. “This year, I bought a small-sized saffron flag bearing the image of Lord Hanuman at Rs 150,” said an entrepreneur, Rajesh Singh, suggesting that the lockdown led to a jump in the price of puja items. In Hazaribag, too, even though there was no procession for the first time in about a century, the entire city was decked up with saffron flags. President of Ramnavami Maha Samittee Rajesh Yadav said, “It’s true lakhs of Ram bhakts stayed indoors this time but we allowed the akharas to deck up town areas to celebrate the day.” (With inputs from Ashiwani Kumar in Ranchi and Abhijit Sen in Hazaribag) Download Subscribe Start Your Daily Mornings with Times of India Newspaper!
You May Also Like