Gatherings with families and friends and the distribution of meat and food from ‘qurbani’, mass prayers and the Haj pilgrimage are some of the important highlights of Bakrid. However, this year, festivities on Saturday will be low-key on account of pandemic-related restrictions and the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
Human rights activist Tanveer Ahmed said that due to the restrictions, Muslims were unable to go on Haj this year. “Many go for Haj at this time as this is the month for it. This important part of the festival is completely missing this time,” he said.
Mohammed Idrees Choudhary, who sells dates and dry fruits, said that while business did pick up, it was not as high as in previous years or what they were hoping. “The charm of Bakrid is also about livestock trade which was dull this year due to restrictions and reduced purchasing capacity. Livestock trade hubs like Mekhri Circle, Chamarajpet and Varthur did not witness as much business as usual,” he said.
Muslim leaders have also been appealing to people to have less ostentatious celebrations. Moulana Maqsood Imran, the imam of Jamia Masjid at K.R. Market, said they have advised people to help the needy as much as possible. “As per instructions by the Government of Karnataka, there will not be mass public prayers. We have advised children below 10 and those above 60 not to visit mosques,” he said.
Most families have decided to pray at home. “Collective prayers and sharing the qurbani among family, friends and the poor will also take a hit. We shall pray and celebrate within our homes,” said Tanzeem Pasha.