Many governments indulging in vote bank politics has been a misfortune for the nation. To score political brownie points, they always find Hindu community as their soft target. Moreover, the Covid pandemic gave them a shield to cage all festivities of the Hindus. They imposed illogical restrictions to bar Hindu festivals. Gladly, time never remains the same. The Thackeray government, which kept on appeasing the secular parties and kept souring Hindu festivals, succumbed under its own weight. Now, with the new administration in power, the people of Maharasta can celebrate the Lalbaugcha Raja and other festivities with great pomp and show.
Demolishing the Anti-Hindu model
The Uddhav Thackeray led government went whole hog to please their secular masters. They kept on imposing restrictions on Hindu festivals and Mandirs. They continued things which hinted at a clear bias against the Hindu community. The graded removal of the lockdowns witnessed naked show of the anti-Hindu model. Mandirs and large Hindu gatherings on festivals were curtailed and caged by the government in the name of Covid restrictions. Thankfully none of this will happen again in Maharashtra.
The Shinde-Fadnavis government has announced the removal of restrictions that curbed festival celebrations. The Hindu community within the state can finally exercise their religious freedom.
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde announced that restrictions on Ganeshotsav and Dahi handi will be eased this year. He made a tweet informing about this decision along with hashtag of Hindu deities. The government also removed restrictions from Muharram processions within the state.
Earlier, CM Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting to review the law and order situation ahead of the upcoming festivals. He said, “For the last two years, there were too many restrictions on these festivals. But this year, these festivals will be celebrated with much fanfare. All restrictions have been eased”. The believers will be celebrating the auspicious festivals of Ganeshotsav and Dahi handi next month.
Rules and regulations eased or waived off
He said, “Just like every year, this year too toll waiver will be given to private cars travelling to Konkan for Ganpati”. He also added that no penalty would be levied on mandals for digging holes on roads to set up pandals.
Additionally, the government announced other measures to ease up the restrictions. It also waived off application fees and undertakings by mandals. Further, it has set up a single-window online system to make it easy for mandals to get permissions. The unnecessary height restriction for Ganpati idols was also thrown into the dustbin.
It has also announced leniency on issues of noise pollution complaints as well as use of Plaster of Paris (PoP) for making Ganesh idols. A technical committee under the environment department has been set up. It will frame a policy regarding the use of plaster of paris (PoP) for making Ganpati idols from next year.
Dahi handi celebrations have also been given the green signal. However, the state will follow all of the Supreme Court guidelines on the nitty gritties of the festival.
Response of the Mandal representatives
The people are elated to know that they can celebrate Ganeshutsav with great fervour like the pre-pandemic era. The famous Ganesh idol of Lalabaugcha Raja will once again attract millions of Bhakts and all the negativities will be wiped out from the state.
In Maharashtra, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) is a major group that represents 12,500-odd mandals. It has whole-heartedly welcomed these announcements made by the state government.
BSGSS President, Naresh Dahibawkar said, “We are happy that we will have a normal Ganeshotsav just like we did in 2019 before Covid struck. The government has agreed to relax all pandemic-specific restrictions. There is no bar on the height of idols, plaster of paris moortis, physical darshan or prasad distribution. But law-and-order guidelines will be binding on mandals. The state has also waived the nominal Rs 100 mandap charge as a goodwill gesture. We have requested the authorities to withdraw police cases filed against mandal karyakartas.”
The celebrations of Ganeshotsav will start from 31st August and continue till 9th September. With this, the state will bid adieu to the anti-Hindu model of the previous Thackeray government. This will also be an example for other states following this shameless anti-Hindu template to shun Anti-Hindu model and not hinder the rights of Hindus to celebrate their auspicious festivals.
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