Ganesh Chaturthi – Are We Celebrating It Rightly?

Ganpati Bappa Morya…Morya Re Bappa Morya Re..,  Is what you hear people recite while welcoming Ganeshji for the 10 day long Ganeshotsav that is vastly celebrated in many Indian states. People warm heartedly establish Lord Ganesh Idols in Pandals and in their homes with music, dance, throwing gulaal in air showering their happiness on spectacular large to small idols. People are delighted and the onlookers are too… so, what’s the problem?

I am a theist and I do believe in God and it’s festivals; however the problem that makes me restless is, the way people celebrate the festival. The current Indian generation has totally lost the connect why and how was  Ganesh Utsav ever started! Young people have forgotten the festival rudiments and are drawn into poseur processions which is retarding many crucial aspects of life.

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Why Ganesh Chaturthi Was Made National Festival?

Worshipping Lord Ganesh for ten days was widely seen in the ancient time of the Marathas and the Peshwas who considered Ganeshji as their family deity. It was a private celebration of the kings and was followed by the successors for years till the British rule. Looking at the people’s devotion and popularity of some public processions, Lokmanya Tilak termed Ganesh Chaturthi, a National Festival in 1893.

The Great freedom fighter and Social reformer did so, in order to fervour nationalism, unity and patriotism through religion in Indians against the British Colonial Rule. People involved for the festival assured that they perform intellectual discourses, poetry recitals, performances of plays, musical concerts, and folk dances to remind Indians what they are and why they should unite to oppose British rule.

Source: wikipedia.org

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How Ganesh Chaturthi Is Celebrated Today?

Magnificently huge or small Ganesh Idols are taken on lavish processions usually on trucks which follows another huge truck bedecked with high bass/volume Dj Speakers, even a small Ganesh Idol on pushing cart will have a loud speakers for music with children and young people dancing to the tunes. You must be thinking, where the problem is and why am I so bothered about the music and lavish processions? This is what worries me and every devotee of Lord Ganesh should be:

  • Processions are not a threat, but the DJ’s unrolling noise of 110 decibels (dB) to 115 dB is!
  • Music is not an issue, but the songs played in high volume beats with vulgar lyrics is!
  • Dancing on roads is not a problem, but causing traffic jam and obstructing serious things is!
  • Beautiful Lord Ganesh Idol is not a hurdle, but the material used to made one is!
  • Immersing the lord idol in various water bodies is no hitch, but causing death threat to marine life is!
  • Shri Ganesh made of Diamonds, Eateries and Expensive metal is not an hindrance, but millions of Indians sleeping empty stomach is!
  • Celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with pompous devotion is not an warning but totally forgetting the tradition is!

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Image Source: theupasana.org

What Should We Actually Implement?

  • To reduce noise pollution causing temporary/permanent health damage, one should limit the noise to 55 dB in day and 45 dB at night.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi is a religious festival, instead of playing Chikni Chameli, Mangta hai to aaja.., and many illicit songs, people should play dhols, songs that are devotional or Shlokas.
  • A particular time should be allotted to get procession in the busy streets to avoid any big/emergency obstruction during work hours.
  • Instead of using plaster of Paris and various chemicals for colouring the Ganesh Idol, we should use clay and natural colours.
  • Immersing Idols in natural water bodies imbalances the marine life and at times becomes lethal. We should immerse Ganesh Idol in government made water bodies or simply sprinkling a few drops of water on it as a symbolic immersion and donating the idol to be recycled for the following year.
  • While millions of poor people die of hunger in India, making expensive and eatable based idol reflects no humanity. Keep a simple idol and use your extra money in feeding the hungry.
  • It is a festival, keep it simple. Include Indian Hindu tradition – Tell the story why we celebrate this festival, play folk songs and dance on it’s tunes.

Summing up all, do you think it’s only human’s facing problems due to high noise pollution, water pollution and air pollution that we cause? Not to forget, it is the flora and fauna suffering out there too. It is every individual’s right to celebrate Lord Ganesh’s festival with ultimate devotion and prayers without harming and destroying the very life we live in. Don’t you think we should not be so heartless?

It’s not that we do not have any other way to celebrate, we do have. Moreover, by implementing the above points, we will only go back to our Indian roots and it is definitely more healthier than what we are doing today. So, let’s take an oath of praying the lord, celebrating it with faithful devotion without imbalancing any normal aspect of life!

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi To You All!

Image Source: www.interiorhousedesign.net

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