No big Ganesh celebrations in Maharashtra this year too

No mega Ganesh celebrations in Maharashtra this year too

This year, the Ganesh festival starts on 10 September on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and ends on 19 September coinciding with Anant Chaturdashi

 Artist Suryakant Shinde makes an idol of Hindu god Lord Ganesh ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festival, in Mumbai. Credit: PTI Photo

With the coronavirus threat not yet over, for the second year in a row, there would not be any mega-celebrations, processions, and crowding during the Ganesh festival.

This year, the Ganesh festival starts on 10 September on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi and ends on 19 September coinciding with Anant Chaturdashi.

Like last year, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government decided to cap the height of public Ganesh idols to 4 feet and those installed at households to 2 feet.

Brihan Mumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS), the apex body of Ganesh mandals of Mumbai, has appealed to the government to reconsider their decision.

The state is now at the tail of the second wave of Covid-19 and the threat of the third wave looms large.

In 2020, the state was during the first wave of the pandemic.

Also read: Why Centre's approval needed for door-to-door vaccination? HC asks Maharashtra govt

According to a notification of the state Home Department, the government has called for simple celebrations and festivities, without crowding.

The government has further suggested that the public mandals switch over to online ‘darshan’ or relaying the celebrations in the pandals through the local cable television networks, websites, or social media platforms, said Sanjay Khedekar, Deputy Secretary, Home Department, in the notification.

Instead of the usual cultural or entertainment programmes, the government has recommended giving priority to health camps or blood donation drives or health awareness campaigns for Coronavirus, malaria, dengue.

Besides, highest levels of cleanliness is maintained by all the public mandals and organisers of the mega-Ganeshotsav groups - and ensure whatever is needed during the new normal.

“We are surprised…it is a rude shock for the Ganesh idol artisans and mandals,” said Naresh Dahibawkar, the President of BSGSS. “Over the last two months we have been sending letters to the government, however, we have not received any replies,” he said.

“Over the last few decades, we have together taking decisions,” he said, adding that the government just announced a once sided order without any consultations from the stakeholders.

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