Home » Ganesh idols should not be more than four feet tall: Maharashtra CM

Ganesh idols should not be more than four feet tall: Maharashtra CM

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 3 minutes read

IT Correspondent
Mumbai, June 28

As a sequel to an appeal, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandals, groups which celebrate the festival in public, will be restricting the height of idols of Lord Ganesh, the Hinduism’s revered elephant god to 4 feet, during ensuing Ganeshotsav. 
This will be almost for the first time in the last few decades, the height of the idols will be reduced drastically. This year, Ganesh festival will be celebrated from 22 August till First September. . However preparations for the 11 day long festival begin months in advance. 
Thackeray, on Friday said that Ganeshotsav mandals should not install idols with a height of more than four feet. He had earlier appealed them to keep the celebrations low-key this year. He also suggested that they can organise health camps and awareness programmes about the pandemic and provide medical facilities. 
In a statement here, Thackeray said faith and devotion are more important than the height of idol. Coronavirus pandemic has affected culture and traditions too. The height of the idols  should be restricted, since bigger idols require more volunteers right from the installation till their immersion. 
“To avoid crowds, all places of worship have been shut. We need to avoid crowds which gather to see huge Ganesh idols in Mumbai and Pune. I have spoken to Ganesh mandals and they are unanimous about maintaining discipline and social responsibility,” Thackeray said and added that with small Ganesh idols, the mandaps also can be tidy with attractive decoration. 
In view of the CM’s appeal and growing cases of coronavirus, the mandals have decided to install the smaller idols and immerse them in eco-friendly tanks created by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). 
Usually in Mumbai and Pune, different Mandals vie with each other to install tall idols. The themes for the Ganesh Chaturthi festival are legendary and many of them are based on current issues or have a social message. 
Many mandals preferring to install idols as tall as 18 to 22 feet. In 2012, the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS), an umbrella body of Mumbai’s Ganesh mandals, had suggested a height of 18 feet from the ground. Despite that nearly 20 mandals, had crossed the height limit in that year, giving different reasons. 
There are over 10,000 Mandals in Maharashtra, which include some of the residential colonies, who install huge idols. In addition over seven lakhs of idols are installed in households. 
Veteran freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak and others, had started the public celebration of festival at Vinchurkar Wada in Pune in 1892, to organise people against Britishers. Taking inspiration from that, the public celebration of the festival began at Keshvaji Naik Chawl in  Girgaum in South Mumbai in 1893. Then the festival went on growing with addition of new mandals every year. 
Some of the mandals in Mumbai are: “Lal Baugcha Raja” (king of Lalbaug) located at Central Mumbai. established in 1934 ( height of the idol 14 feet), “Mumbaicha Raja”, Ganesh Galli (lane), Lalbaug, established 1928( height of the idol 22 feet),”Khetwadicha Ganraj”, Girgaum, established in 1959, “Mumbai’s gold Ganesh”,Matunga, central Mumbai. established in 1954. This year, the mandal will not be celebrating the festival.

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