Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party supremo, Arvind Kejriwal on the occasion of Chhath Puja, issued a two-minute-long video on Twitter wishing the Purvanchalis who are celebrating this ancient Vedic festival.
भगवान सूर्य की उपासना के महापर्व ‘छठ पूजा’ की आप सभी को बहुत-बहुत शुभकामनाएं। छठी मैय्या आप सबके जीवन में ख़ूब सारी खुशियां लाएं, आप ख़ूब तरक्की करें। pic.twitter.com/5gFYb8VZEM— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 10, 2021
In this video, the CM claimed that despite the difficulties faced due to the ongoing pandemic, the Delhi government left no stone unturned to make arrangements for the devotees to offer prayers.
Only, a few hours later after the AAP leader released the message, several videos, and images of the Delhi govt barring people from performing puja at the Yamuna surfaced on social media.
“Don’t know whether we’ll be allowed entry to the ghat here. We have come here today as we offer Chhath prayers here each year,” said a disheartened devotee.
Chhath pooja 2021 | A few devotees have arrived at Delhi’s ITO Yamuna Ghat despite DDMA order barring Chhath celebrations at river ghats— ANI (@ANI) November 10, 2021
Don’t know whether we’ll be allowed entry to the ghat here. We have come here today as we offer Chhath prayers here each year, says a devotee. pic.twitter.com/ZLOBPkDbQ5
Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Amit Malviya took to Twitter to share a video of distressed devotees stopped at the banks of river Yamuna. He added that the AAP govt’s ‘civil defence’ workers have attacked and broken Chhath ghats made and stopped devotees from entering the ghats. It is notable here that offering Arghya while standing in a water body is one of the mandatory rituals of the festival.
अरविंद केजरीवाल के खिलाफ छठ श्रद्धालुओं का गुस्सा अब सड़कों पर उतर आया है।— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) November 10, 2021
जिस तरह सिविल डिफेंस कर्मियों को भेज कर छठ के लिए बनाए गए घाट तोड़े गये और बहनों को छठ मनाने से रोका गया, उसके बाद ये तो होना ही था। pic.twitter.com/Yly5q3P7Ho
‘Toxic foam floats on Yamuna’
While the Delhi CM claimed that his government had made all the arrangements for the Chhath devotees, the Yamuna river continued to be smothered by toxic foam.
BJP workers come out in support of devotees
“It is the responsibility of the Delhi government to get rid of pollution from the river but as Delhiites it is our duty to volunteer in this effort so that when the Chhath festival comes it can be celebrated in a clean atmosphere,” Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta had said.
However, very little could be achieved without the required support. Not wanting to leave the devotees hapless, the BJP in Delhi trespassed the ban imposed on Chhath Puja and took the devotees to offer prayers.
Strict fast to be observed
The Mahaparv of Chhath Puja is a four-day-long Hindu festival celebrated on the sixth day of Kartik Shukla Paksha.
The devotees offer arghya (offerings) to Sun God on the first day, after which they consume prasad and fast for 36 continuous hours without water (Nirjala Fast).
On the third day of the festival, the devotees offer arghya to the setting sun also known as Sandhya Arghya. However, the fast ends the next day after offering arghya to the rising sun.
It is imperative to note, that offering prayers to the Sun God on these days is of utmost importance. The puja is usually performed on the banks of a water body.
‘Kejriwal advertises Ayodhya scheme & govt schools in Chhath greetings’
The Delhi CM while wishing the devotees on the occasion of Chhath, did not miss a chance to advertise the alleged schools built by his government and the Ayodhya pilgrimage scheme.
Kejriwal sharing his ‘Ayodhya visit’ claimed that he was overwhelmed by the experience and wants every Delhi citizen to experience the same. He then promoted his supposed senior citizen scheme of Ayodhya where the Delhi government claims to take every senior citizen of Delhi to Ayodhya for free with complete arrangements of accommodation and travel.
In the end, he also advised people to stay masked.