Ganesh festival is one of the most energetic medium of celebrating and worshipping the idol of Lord Ganesh. There had been years of tradition of bringing the mud idol of Ganesha at home and worshipping it. Once the festival was over, the idol was immersed at a nearby pond or water body. Hence clay idol was returned to the Earth. So it was not only about worshipping Lord Ganesha but also keeping harmony with Mother Nature.
In 1893, Lokmanya Tilak made this festival a public event in order to bring people of Maharashtra together and unite to fight against the British rule. Lokmanya Tilak was successful in his mission, in order to get independence from the Britishers.
Though the time have changed, our society has still to get independence from many social issues. Today’s festival have not only failed to address the social issues relating environment and society but are making Ganesh Utsav itself a medium and threat to environment through its bizarre celebration.
We should see Ganesh Utsav, a tribute to Lord Ganesha by addressing social cause, environmental issues and enhancing the quality of the society in which we live. There are many ways to achieve by curtailing the unwanted expenses and spend it meaningfully.
The commercialisation of Ganesh Utsav has discovered Plaster of Paris (POP) as a quickest and cost effective source for making Ganesh idols. It’s impact on the environment can be seen during it’s immersion in lakes, sea and river. POP is the man made material, less expensive, easier to mould and light in weight than the clay idols. Moreover the impact of chemical paints, heavy metals like mercury, lead etc and use of thermocol for decorations have caused threat to water creatures and nature.
Today the mandals and housing societies can play a important role in bringing this awareness and improving the quality of our surroundings. It’s time to introspect where the crores of rupees are being spent and how the same can be spent meaningfully. Hence as an individual or group, we should insist for Eco friendly Ganesh idols and decorations, avoid thermocols and reduce noise pollution.