New Delhi: Due to the lockdown, religious places that have been closed for a long time have started opening from today (Monday). With the opening of the doors of the temples, the process of reaching the devotees has started. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath offered prayers at the Gorakhpur temple. Jhandewalan Temple in Delhi, Gauri Shankar Temple in Chandni Chowk, Kalkaji Temple and Banglasahib Gurdwara have also been opened with conditions applicable by the State Government. Queues of devotees appeared here since morning. Similarly, devotees are reaching the famous Mahakal temple of Ujjain for worship. However, even after the opening of the temple, for the first time, the Mahakaal ceremony was performed without devotees. On the other hand, in the mosques of Lucknow, people are coming for worship from the morning.
Devotees will have to follow the rules
It is important for the devotees to follow the guidelines of the Health Ministry. The good thing is that devotees are also seen following the social distance during the course of worship. Significantly, shopping malls, religious places, hotels and restaurants are reopening in the country from today after being closed for nearly two months during the lockdown, which will have systems like token system for entry under the new rules, while temples Prasad etc. will not be distributed. Apart from this, devotees will not be allowed to touch the idol and the religious text kept in the temple.
In the midst of increasing cases of Coronavirus infection, the opening of all these can present new challenges. According to the Ministry of Health, 1,20,406 people in the country are still infected with the coronavirus. The ministry said that a total of 1,19,292 people have recovered from the disease and one patient has gone abroad. A senior official of the ministry said, “So far, 48.37 per cent of the patients have recovered.” Foreign citizens are also involved in total cases of infection.
Token system for social distancing
After the SOP has been issued by the Union Health Ministry, going to shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and religious places will not be like before the lockdown. The mall will have cinema halls, gaming arcades and children’s play spaces in the restricted area as before. SOPs are consultative in nature and the Central Government has given the authority to decide the details of them. For example, the Punjab government has adopted a system of giving tokens for entering malls under its guidelines. Some shrines in Gujarat have decided to hold prayers at the lanes and have introduced a token system specifying the time for the pilgrims to come so that the rules of social distance are followed and not congested.
Delhi’s borders will open
While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the Delhi government-run hospital and the private hospital will only treat Delhiites during the Coronavirus crisis, the city limits will reopen from Monday. He said, ‘We are going to open the boundaries of Delhi tomorrow. Malls, restaurants and religious places will open but hotels and banquet halls will remain closed as we may have to convert them into hospitals in the coming time.
The Union Ministry of Culture has also approved the opening of 820 centrally protected monuments, which have places of worship under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), from June 8. Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel gave this information.
Some religious places will remain closed in Goa
Under the Central Government guidelines, the Karnataka government has set rules to maintain social distance to religious places, not to distribute pilgrimage (holy water) or prasad and to prohibit special worship. It has been decided to keep churches and mosques closed in Goa for some more time. The Maharashtra government has not yet decided on opening religious places.