Celebration of Festivals and COVID19
COVID 19 is a massive disruption in our lives. It is an interruption in our socio-cultural lives which are enriched by festivals and cultural events in which we mingle with each other and celebrate together. However, Social distancing does not allow collective celebration of life. We have opted for this path because it is the only known path of containing the spread of this deadly virus, even as Lockdown 4.0 will be ending soon. We are willing to put up with the milder disruptions in social, religious and cultural life to avoid a major catastrophe. We are simply living with the situation where we cannot visit places of worship on festival days. We avoid congregations and social gatherings for some time to come. All religious leaders are providing the guidance required to regulate the modes of worship in light of the present circumstances – a more flexible, adaptable attitude to modify our social behaviour. Almost all religious institutions have now been closed and no religious congregations are being allowed, not only in India but in most of the affected countries around the world. Subdued celebration of festivals like Rama Navami, Baisakhi, Easter, Ramzan and Eid are the case in the point.
The spirit of religious sanctity can be preserved in our hearts and homes this year. After all, what we pray for is a world that is healthy for us and for entire humanity. We have apparently some more distance to cover. We need to be vigilant. This is a moment for us to get our act together. We distance ourselves physically to arrest the viral transmission. But, we to come closer as human beings to render help where and when required. In this course, we rediscover the true meaning of central religious tenets. I am hopeful that we shall stand united with an understanding of the real challenge ahead of us, after the pandemic is over and have the collective commitment to act with wisdom to overcome the challenge. COVID 19 is after all emblematic of solidarity in isolation.