Chennai: Vinayaka Chathurthi festival, marking the birth of the Elephantine God, was celebrated with religious fervour and traditional gaiety in Tamil Nadu on Saturday.
However, it was a low key celebrations this year, in view of the COVID-19 induced pandemic and the subsequent lockdown guidelines put in force by the government to prevent spread of the virus.
Unlike in the past, when the festival was celebrated by installing Lord Ganesha idols in various hues and sizes
across the state, the Government, in a GO, banned idol installations in public places, besides taking out rallies
and processions and immersing them in sea and other water bodies citing the lockdown.
The Madras High Court, while passing orders on a batch of PILs, refused to stay the government order while allowing individuals, worshipping in their houses to immerse the idols in nearby water bodies, except on the sea front in Marina, by maintaining social distancing.
The frontline Hindu organisation, like Hindu Munnani, earlier said it would defy the government order and
install 1.5 lakh idols in public places across the state, but later gave an undertaking along with another outfit
Shiv Sena that it would abide by the government’s move.
The BJP, which had urged the government to reconsider its decision to ban idol installations in public and said it
would toe the line of the Hindu Munnani on the issue, celebrated the occasion by offering special pujas to
Lord Ganesha at its party headquarters ‘Kamalalayam’ in the city.
BJP State President L Murugan, who had said that the government was putting obstacles to the celebrations
of a God believed to remove all obstacles and wanted the celebrations to be allowed, senior leaders and other
office bearers participated in the function.
Meanwhile, numerous small temples of Lord Ganesha, across the State, were tastefully decorated and
illuminated to mark the festival and special pujas and abhishekams were performed.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and leaders of various political
parties extended Vinayaka Chathurthi greetings to the people of the State.