Welcome the Lord Ganesha-the remover of obstacles, the God of Knowledge and the most revered and loved God of not only the city of Mumbai or Maharashtra but the whole universe! The metro city of Mumbai gears up every year, months before, to welcome and celebrate the biggest festival, perhaps, of India. Preparations like installing pandals, decorations and installations 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 as today the situation has changed drastically as compared to it were some years ago.
Today due to security threats, police and the security force have to be always on their toes 24×7. The environment and other aspects needs to be taken care of. Besides, we are in the midst of facing water shortage and perhaps a drought too. Hence I would suggest that the celebrations should be low key, to be restricted to religious fervour and traditions and not on lavish display of wealth. It should be pure devotional in all respects. It’s very important to restrict the noise levels. Ban film songs blaring through massive sized speakers and psychedelic effects. Especially in the areas where we have hospitals, 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 cause inconvenience to 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. Protection of environment is extremely important. Trees either must not be cut, destroyed or misused. Display of banners and plastic items must be banned. Wastage of water, eatables and at all other levels must be avoided. After the immersions, organisers should ensure to clean the areas and mainly many sea-shores and immersion sites. Every mandal should exhibit a short film for creating awareness in the society: like “ girl’s education, prevent child labour, save the planet and environment, obey traffic rules, say no to corruption and many such worthy causes. Such messages will certainly have positive effect on the people to go on the right path.
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 and 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 CM’s Relief / Farmers’ Relief fund etc. Since, this year, many Mandals have already taken steps to install big sized and heavily decorated idols etc….next year onwards the focus should be on having the eco-friendly Ganpati idols only. Let us pray to the Almighty Lord Ganesha for safe, peaceful, happy, grand and successful Ganeshotsav with all devotion and pure religious fervour.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)