Lights decked up buildings and earthen lamps dotted houses as India celebrated Diwali on Saturday amid COVID-19 restrictions and a ban on bursting of firecrackers in several states. Prayers were offered and sweets distributed though people mostly took the virtual route to extend wishes. People also visited temples, observing social distancing norms. Kali puja was celebrated in several states, including West Bengal where people visited Kali temples since the morning to pay obeisance to the deity.
Like previous years, Modi celebrated Diwali with soldiers. He flew to the Longewala Post in Rajasthan and praised the soldiers for their valour, saying no force in the world can prevent the country''s brave soldiers from defending its borders.
"...The world today knows that we will not compromise with our interests even one bit at any cost," he said.
In Maharashtra, ''Diwali Pahat'' cultural programmes, an integral part of the festival, were missing this year due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, some organisations conducted online programmes, like musical events and interviews. Though the Maharashtra government has not banned firecrackers, the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has announced restrictions on the use of crackers and fireworks in the city. The civic body has, however, allowed use of ''mild firecrackers'' on Laxmi Pujan.
Sneak-peek of India celebrating Diwali amid COVID-19 restrictions