Ganpati Immersion Processions Won’t Be Allowed In Mumbai: Maha Govt

For the first time in its 86-year old history, the iconic Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh idol won’t be installed during the upcoming Ganeshotsav in Mumbai. The 11-day festival will start on August 22. A few days before, the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had appealed people to celebrate Ganeshostav 2020 with less pomp due to COVID-19. The CM urged the representatives of the Ganesh mandals in Mumbai to keep the idols shorter and the pandals smaller this year. Now, the Home Department has also directed the mandals not to organise immersion processions to beaches and lakes and asked citizens to immerse idols at home.

Ganpati Immersion Mumbai

Picture Credits: news18.com

Mumbaikars Urged To Refrain From Immersing Idols In The Sea And Lakes

On the day of Ganesha’s immersion, a large number of people flock to the streets for processions, chanting in unison, “Ganapati Bappa Moriya”. Huge crowds of people sing and dance, accompanying the grandiose idol of Lord Ganesha. People of Maharashtra worship more than  2,00,000 Ganpati statues during this festival. Issuing the new guidelines, Principal Secretary, Amitabh Gupta urged people to immerse idols at home. And refrain from visiting crowded waterfronts. The guidelines state, “By avoiding going to crowded spaces while welcoming and immersing idols, you will protect yourselves and your family members from the risk of contracting Covid-19.” People have also been told to make the Ganesha idols with eco-friendly materials.

Picture Credits: Vibrant os

No Installation Of Massive Lalbugcha Raja Ganesha Idol This Ganeshotsav

Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh idol was always revered for its sheer magnificence and the magnitude of its celebrations. But this year the iconic gigantic idol won’t be installed at the mandal. Officials announced to the media that the idol will be replaced by a smaller one of around 3 to 4 feet for the traditional puja and other ceremonies at the 127-year-old Ganesha festival. In view of the CM’s plea, Ganeshotsav mandals in the state took a voluntary decision to restrict the height of the Ganesha idols. Mandals will install idols of less than four feet. This is the first time in over four decades since the trend of gigantic idols commenced.

Ganpati Immersion Mumbai

Picture Credits: Dawn

Ganeshotsav To Transform Into Aarogyautsav At Lalbaugcha Raja

Sudhir Salvi, Secretary is the secretary of the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (LRSGM). He informed the media “This year, we shall celebrate Ganeshotsav as ‘Arogyautsav’ with 11-days of blood and plasma donation camps, donate ₹25 lakh to the CM Relief Fund for corona aid, help families of the soldiers martyred in the recent India-China border skirmish and Maharashtra Police personnel who lost their lives in the ongoing war against virus.”

Also Read: Tejukaya Ganesh Utsav Mandal Created A 22 Feet Eco-Friendly Idol

Most Mandals In Mumbai To Have Subdued Ganeshotsav Celebrations This Year

Salvi also added, “People have tremendous faith in Lalbaugcha Raja, so they may still come. We have to ensure physical distancing, besides following all the health and hygiene norms.” A majority of mandals in the state decided to celebrate Ganeshotsav 2020 in a subdued manner. Manageable sized idols will witness installation with no huge procession. Elaborate immersion ceremonies at waterbodies won’t take place, as decided by the government. Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, all mandals will now focus on social activities related to the pandemic. They may even stream their aarti, puja and darshan online so devotes can avoid crowds.

 

Naresh Dahibhavkar is the BrihanMumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti President. He stated to media houses that smaller Ganesha idols this year means lesser crowds and fewer decorations. He also added that fewer VVIPS like the union or state ministers, top business personalities, filmstars and the CM would visit the mandal this year.

Bollywood Celebrities Support Aarogyautsav Decision

Bollywood celebrities like Dia Mirza and Ranvir Shorey took to Twitter to laud Lalbaugcha Raja for this decision. Chhapaak actor, Vikrant Massey tweets “Thank you to the Trust and Committee of #LalbaugchaRaja for rising to the occasion and probably setting a precedent for other institutions to follow suit in these trying times. I bow my head in reverence to the Mighty Ganpati Bappa for mercy and peace!”

This year Mumbaikars are urged to refrain from immersing Ganesha idols. They are also told by the government to have subdued celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic. And immerse the idols at home. Well, during times like these, health must come first. And it’s heartwarming to see a great response from people hailing this initiative.

Sanjana Shenoy
Suggested Articles