This year’s Ganesh festival will start on September 5, 2016, and there is good news for Ganesh Mandals who had to face endless hassles with permission and law and order related issues. From this year, all the approvals will be done online, and an announcement to this effect was made by the Government and Police authorities on Thursday evening. The city BJP took the lead and prevailed upon the authorities at a convention of the apex body of festival organizers and Idol makers. The body was also promised that all the issues will be brought to the notice of the state’s Cheif Minister in the first week of June.
Court’s directive for pandals:
The Bombay High Court recently issued a directive and laid down strict rules to prevent traffic blocks and reduce noise pollution. In 2015, some pandals were asked by the court to pay 1 lakh as punitive compensation into the CM relief fund for violating these norms. This issue also came up for discussion.
The highest judicial authority in the state has stipulated that platforms which have been erected without proper permissions will not be allowed during festivals such as Ganesh Utsav, Navratri, and Dahi Handi.
The high court also forbade the erection of such platforms near educational institutions, hospitals, heavy populated areas, public transport stands, etc. The pandals must be erected in a way not obstruct traffic and pedestrian movement.
Application form for permissions can be filled here.
Ganesh Chathurti in Maharashtra:
Ganapati celebrations have great significance in Maharashtra, and the history dates back to 1893 when Bal Gangadhar Tilak hailed the Ganapathy celebration as a public event and published ann article in his revolutionary newspaper, Kesri. The next year he installed a Ganapathy Idol at his Kesari office thus paving the way for the celebrations as a public event.
Tilak achieved two goals with his actions- Ganesha was the God of everyone regardless of caste or creed, and it helped to bridge the gap between Brahmins and ‘non-Brahmins’, it also led to the development of a nationalist fervor among the population of Maharashtra to oppose British colonial rule.