Ganeshotsav Updates: Relatively free of coronavirus-related curbs after two years since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ganesh Chaturthi was celebrated with religious fervour across states, where idols of the popular deity were installed in homes and decorated pandals by devotees on Wednesday, marking the commencement of a ten-day Ganeshotsav festival.
Maharashtra, which is one of the states where the festival is celebrated with pomp, saw devotees welcome Lord Ganesh in their homes and pooja pandals. Excitement reigned with calls of “Ganpati Bappa Morya” as people in urban and rural areas and noted personalities, including Bollywood celebrities, welcomed Lord Ganesh and offered ‘modaks’, a traditional Maharashtrian delicacy as ‘prasad’.
However, the public eye remained on the developments in Karnataka, where security was tightened after two court orders allowing, and disallowing festivities at the Idgah grounds in Hubballi and Bengaluru, respectively.
As the festival begins, here are the latest updates on Ganeshotsav from across states:
• In Mumbai, a video showing an MNS worker engaging in a physical altercation with a woman after she objects to putting up of a banner for welcoming the Ganesh bhakts in Mumbai has gone viral. The incident took place on August 28.
#WATCH | A video went viral showing a man hitting & pushing a woman in Kamathipura, Mumbai on Aug 28, allegedly over installing a bamboo stick (for an ad) in front of woman's shop without consent. A non-cognizable offence lodged at Nagpada PS:Mumbai Police
(Note:Strong language) pic.twitter.com/9PinhzGuyj
— ANI (@ANI) September 1, 2022
• A unique pandal based on the theme of ‘Aadhaar card’ grabbed eyeballs in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.
Jharkhand | A Ganesh Pandal in Jamshedpur has been made in the form of an Aadhar card which identifies the address of Lord Ganesha in Kailash & his date of birth during the 6th century #GaneshChaturthi pic.twitter.com/qupLStkut6
— ANI (@ANI) September 1, 2022
• In Tamil Nadu, two people died, three were injured after a Ganesh chariot came in contact with a live electric wire in Sokkanathan Puthur area in Virudhunagar district, said the District collector of Virudhunagar.
• An 18-year-old boy from Kalyan in Thane district was hit allegedly by four persons for failing to gather a crowd for a Ganesh festival procession, a police official said on Thursday. Satyam Sohoni had promised he would get people for a welcome procession but stopped taking calls as the festival approached, which enraged the accused, a Kolsewadi police station official said.
“The four accused went to his house and assaulted him. All four have been identified but no one has been arrested,” he added.
• In Karnataka’s Mandya district, Hindus and Muslims came together to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi.
— ANI (@ANI) September 1, 2022
However, this was in contrast to the thick security cover at the Idgah ground in Hubballi and so was the scene at the one in the state capital. But the Hubballi Idgah maidan in north Karnataka wore a festive look with a four feet Ganesha idol installed at a Pandal there. Amid the chanting of Vedic hymns, right-wing leader and Sriram Sena chief Pramod Muthalik performed the special prayers to Lord Ganesha. The photographs of Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar were conspicuous at the Pandal.
#BREAKING Savarkar’s poster brings a twist to the Ganesh puja. The Savarkar poster has been put up in a Ganesh pandal at the #EidgahMaidan in Hubballi @ritsrajpurohit brings us the latest updates#Viewpoint | @Zakka_Jacob#GaneshUtsav #Hubballi #Savarkar pic.twitter.com/9efVnMtFqi
— News18 (@CNNnews18) August 31, 2022
For the next three days, the idol of Ganesha will remain in Hubballi Idgah ground as per the permission given by the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC), which was upheld by the Karnataka High Court.
In contrast, at the Idgah maidan at Chamarajpet here, at least 10 contingents of Karnataka State Reserved Police and senior police officers were deployed to ensure that there was no one other than them on the ground till the Ganesha festival is over. “We will not allow anyone to disturb peace here. The Supreme Court’s order on Idgah maidan in Chamarajpet (Bengaluru) will be strictly followed, a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity.
• Meanwhile, the Mumbai traffic police have set up five control rooms at important places, erected watch towers, and imposed traffic and parking restrictions as the ten-day Ganpati festival began on Wednesday, an official said. Barricading is done on important roads in the metropolis to segregate the procession crowd and the returning crowd for safety purposes.
Traffic restrictions have been imposed beginning Thursday. As many as 74 roads have been closed for traffic while one-way vehicular movement will be allowed on 54 roads. Plying of goods vehicles is banned on 57 roads while parking restrictions are imposed at 114 places in the city, the official said. Traffic control rooms have been set up at important immersion places including the sea fronts at Girgaon, Shivaji Park, and Juhu, Malad-Malwani T Junction and the Ganesh Ghat in Powai. Police cranes, BMC cranes and high-capacity cranes are being stationed at strategic locations to handle contingencies in the event of the breakdown of vehicles, the official added.
• Police on Wednesday seized “objectionable and provocative” decoration material related to a recent split in Shiv Sena at a Ganesh pandal in Kalyan city in Thane district of Maharashtra, an official said. The seizure included the cutouts put out as the decoration display for the ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival which began on Wednesday. Vijay Tarun Mandal president Vijay Salvi said the action by the police was unwarranted and amounted to “autocracy”.
Later, a group of Shiv Sainiks including local leaders and office-bearers performed a “maha aarti” against the police action. “Every year we display various topics at our pandal and this year’s theme was the split in Shiv Sena. The police action is ‘Hitlersahi’,” he alleged and added that the Mandal will not celebrate the Ganesh festival this year as a mark of protest. The Mandal has been celebrating the festival for the last 58 years. He claimed the organisers had shown the decorative display to the police earlier and even made certain changes as directed. A Kalyan police officer said the Vijay Tarun Mandal had indulged in such provocative and objectionable decorations in the past also.
• Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde was on Wednesday visibly moved when he paid a visit to Kisan Nagar in Thane district, from where he started his political and social life, and also visited various Ganesh mandals in the city. Earlier in the day, Shinde, welcomed Lord Ganesh at ‘Varsha’, his official residence in south Mumbai, as the 10-day festival dedicated to the elephant-headed God began.
ठाणे शहरातील किसन नगर परिसरातील शिवसेना पुरस्कृत सार्वजनिक गणेशोत्सव मंडळ तसेच जनजागृती मित्र मंडळाच्या गणेशोत्सवात उपस्थित राहून विघ्नहर्ता श्री गणेशाचे भक्तीभावाने पूजन केले. #गणेशोत्सव२०२२ pic.twitter.com/kkEatKzv7D
— Eknath Shinde – एकनाथ शिंदे (@mieknathshinde) August 31, 2022
Later, he visited various Ganesh mandals and interacted with organisers and common citizens of Kisan Nagar in Thane district, his political turf. Talking to the media during the visit, an emotional Shinde said it was a great feeling to visit a place from where he started his political career decades ago. “I am really happy that from this very place I started my career and climbed up the ladder to become the Chief Minister. I am delighted to mingle and interact with the people of the locality,” he said. The CM, an MLA from Thane city, said a local outfit, the Jana Jagruti Mitra Mandal, reminded him of his early days in social and political life.
With inputs from PTI