By: Keyur Seta
I became aware about the existence of various pro-Hindu groups around a decade ago. Interestingly, I got enlightened about them only because of their opposition to certain Hindi films, which, according to them, hurt their religious sentiments. In fact, if you look back closely, you will realize that almost all their protests have only been against films and, at times, books.
Now, let us focus on a harsh and disturbing reality regarding one of the most important Hindu festivals. People staying in Mumbai even since few years would know how the Hindu festival of Ganeshotsav is grossly insulted each year. A single experience at Mumbai’s Ganesh Visarjan is also enough to realize this.
The following scenes are witnessed each year during the festival:-
– Liquor consumption during Visarjan is not new in Mumbai. You will find a lot of these over-enthusiastic ‘devotees’ dancing during Visarjan high on daaru.
– Eve-teasing of girls/ women during Visarjan with vulgar terms or slogans is also on display while bringing the idol and also during immersion. I have heard harrowing experiences of my own friends.
– There has been uproar against playing of sleazy item numbers during the festival; sometimes right beside the Ganesh idol. But this has had no effect on the organizers. Songs like ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’, ‘Munni Badnaam’, ‘Fevicol Se’, ‘Baby Doll’, and some even worse continue making rounds each year.
– Firecrackers worth thousands are burst during Visarjan, which hugely increases the level of air pollution. Roads always appear hazy during some big Visarjan. This also has numerous health hazards.
– Noise pollution is the major turn off for residents of Mumbai. In fact, the term ‘noise pollution’ is too mild to describe the menace caused. Plus, the commotion with super loud DJ music moves at a snail’s pace, which adds to the agony. Torture caused towards infants, aged, ill, heart patients, students and animals is ignored by these so-called devotees of the Lord.
The above-mentioned activities take place right in the open. So, it is impossible for the members of these pro-Hindu groups to not know about it. This brings a lot of uncomfortable questions for them.
Why there hasn’t been a single agitation against the shameful insult of the Hindu festival? Leave alone protest, why nobody from your ‘religious’ groups has not even spoken against this ever? Have you ever thought about the real intention of Lokmanya Tilak behind starting this festival? On the other hand, ardent members and followers of your groups literally go up in arms while demanding bans on harmless films, sometimes even resorting to violence.
Are your religious sentiments only limited to objecting Hindi films? The fact that you are not coming out against these shoddy practices in the name of a Hindu festival defeats the very purpose of your existence.