Welcome Lord Ganesha-the remover of obstacles, the God of Knowledge and the most revered and loved deity of not only Mumbai or Maharashtra but the whole universe. The metropolis gears up every year, months before, to welcome and celebrate the biggest festival, perhaps of India. Preparations like installing pandals, decorations, making and installation of idols and many other arrangements begin days before the day of the grand festival. Every year we have been seeing and witnessing to what extent this Ganesh Chaturthi festival is being celebrated in almost every nook and corner and suburb of this city. Having experienced the festivity of this great and important festival for decades, I just would like to mention about some “dos and don’ts” , in simple terms. Today due to security threats, police and the security force have to remain vigilant 24×7. The environment and other aspects need to be taken care of. Besides, we are in the midst of facing water shortage and perhaps a drought too.
According to me the celebrations on the whole should be on a low key, to be restricted to religious fervour and traditions and not on lavish display of wealth. It is very important to restrict the noise levels. Ban film songs blaring through massive sized speakers and psychedelic effects especially in the areas where hospitals are located, thick population of civilians; schools and so on. Maintenance of cleanliness must be disciplined at all levels. There should be no pile-up of garbage and other items near the pandals and which would inconvenience the pedestrians and the traffic. Public roads and streets should never be dominated over, by installing huge pandals, electronic and electrical gadgets and so on. The less said about this the better. Refrain from cutting trees to preserve environment. Display of banners and plastic items, et al must be banned. Wastage of water, eatables and at all other levels must be avoided. After the immersion, organisers should ensure to clean the areas and mainly sea-shores and immersion sites.
Every mandal should ensure that they air a short film to send social message like promotion of girls education, stop child labour, save the planet and environment, obey traffic rules, say no to corruption. Such messages will certainly have positive effect on the people to follow the right path. Display images and pictures of our valiant soldiers and messages appreciating their tough mission to fight against terrorism and to eliminate the terrorists. Above all the organisers and the people should remain ever alert to prevent any untoward incidents and extend all possible cooperation to the city police personnel, security staff and officers in view of the grave situation the nation faces today. All the Mandals and the citizens too, should make generous and substantial donations to the Chief Minister’s Relief / Farmers’ Relief fund, etc. I wish , this year, the Mandals take steps to install not very-big sized and heavily decorated idols etc, but smaller and medium sized idols only. The focus should be on installing eco-friendly ganpati idols only. Let us pray to the Almighty Lord Ganesha for safe, peaceful, grand and successful Ganeshotsav, with all devotion and pure religious fervour.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)