Udayavni Special

A subdued Bakrid for Muslim community in Kerala under COVID second wave


PTI, Jul 21, 2021, 12:15 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Muslim community in Kerala on Wednesday celebrated Bakrid in a subdued manner at their homes sans any public festivities and usual social gatherings as the state is reeling under a severe second COVID-19 wave.

Large Eid-Gahs (mass prayer on the beach, etc)and mass Namaz at mosques were absent this year also as the government continued to impose strict restrictions in view of the fear of resurgence of the pandemic after a drop in cases this month.

As only 40 people were permitted for prayers adhering to stringent pandemic protocol, there was no usual festive mood in mosques across the southern state, which used to witness a sea of devotees since morning during the occasion.

Devotees could be seen following social distancing norms during the prayers inside the mosques.

Considering their safety, the majority of mosque authorities have asked devoteesto come for the Eid prayer in the morning after performing ”Vulu” (cleaning) and to carry their own ”Musalla” (sheet for niskaram)”.

They also seemed to avoid the usual exchange of pleasantries and embraces after the prayers in view of the health protocols.

”It is a great relief that at least a few people were allowed inside the mosques for prayers during the occasion,” Shan, a Muslim youth hailing from the capital city, said.

However, there was no change in the age-old custom of preparing a sumptuous feast, with traditional delicacies,at homes during the occasion.

Despite the anxiety triggered by the pandemic scare, festivities and feast continued in traditional Muslim families on the day of Eid.

As a majority of families preferred to stay safe at home, the usual visiting of relatives during the festival was also rare.

Eid al-Adha or the ‘Feast of Sacrifice,’ falls two months and ten days after the observance of the Ramadan (Eid Ul-Fitr) which was celebrated on May 13.

Thanks to the relaxations by the state government for three days from Sunday, devotees were on a festival-special shopping spree, with hundreds thronging textile and footwear shops and malls since then.

However, the Supreme Court’s criticism of the government’s relaxations for Bakrid in areas with high COVID- 19 positivity rate further dulled the spirit for some ahead of the festival.

During the daily COVID-19 evaluation meet in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said there would be no relaxation in the curbs as of now and the current restrictions would continue for the next week.

The Chief Minister’s statement came hours after the Supreme Court had termed as ”wholly uncalled for”, the Left government’s relaxation of lockdown restrictions in areas with high COVID-19 positivity rate, ahead of Bakrid festival.

The apex court directed the state government to ”heed the Right to Life” and warned Kerala of action if the easing of curbs leads to further spread of the virus and this is brought before it by any person.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, and other senior political leaders including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan greeted the people of Kerala on the occasion of Bakrid.

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