The Karnataka government on Tuesday officially declared that the famous Dasara festivities in Mysuru this year will be conducted in a low-key manner due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
It may be recalled that the Lord Jagannath Yatra was held symbolically in Puri, Odisha, this year without people or tourists gathering to witness the grand spectacle. The entire event was aired live online.
Now the Karnataka government has also chosen to follow similar steps in organising the Dasara festivities in Mysuru.
Speaking to reporters after a high-level delegation meeting to chalk-out the strategies to organise the Mysuru Dasara, Kannada and Culture Minister C.T. Ravi said, "This time Dasara celebrations will be a low-key affair, but we will not forgo any mandatory rituals. The celebrations will be confined within the boundaries of the Mysuru Palace.
According to Ravi, the elephant procession, which is a major attraction of the Mysuru Dasara, will be restricted to the palace premises and only five elephants will carry out the procession symbolically.
"Unlike every year, the elephant procession will not pass through the main streets, as this might put people's lives in danger amid the Covid-19 pandemic. For us, people's safety is paramount," the minister said, adding that another reason is to reduce the burden on the government officials and staffs who are already toiling hard to mitigate Covid-19 in the state.
He further added that the state government would select five-Covid warriors who would formally inaugurate the celebrations instead of popular personalities.
"We took this decision purely to honour those who have been toiling hard day and night for the last six months in battling the dreaded Covid-19 virus," he explained.
There have been many instances in the past when Dasara celebrations were cancelled or celebrated in a low-key manner. The festivities were started by the Yedu dynasty in Srirangapatttana in 1610.