Chennai: The harvest festival of Pongal was
celebrated in Tamil Nadu on Saturday in a subtle way, as the
Sabarimala tragedy, which claimed the lives of 100 pilgrims,
cast its shadow on the celebrations.
A substantial chunk of the victims who died in the
stampede hailed from Tamil Nadu, especially the southern
However, in Chennai and other parts of the state, the
festival, coinciding with the Tamil New Year, was celebrated
with usual fervour as people welcomed the auspicious month --
Colourful `kolams` (rangoli) decorated many homes and the
Pongal, the local sweet delicacy, was cooked in the households
to mark the new day.
Governor S S Barnala, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi,
AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa and various other political leaders
greeted the people on the occasion.
New Tamil films were released today and TV channels aired
At least 104 Sabarimala devotees were killed and over 40
injured in a stampede when a jeep crashed into homebound
pilgrims at Pulmedu in Kerala`s Idukki district, in the worst
tragedy to strike the worshippers of the famed shrine in a