Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ganeshotsav Has Come and Gone, Some Thoughts

So a Ganeshotsav has come and gone. I almost miss the din and the sound of drums, which used to have me in a tizzy sometimes. Now, why I got into a tizzy is because I couldn't concentrate, and hence, couldn't write. Couldn't write means couldn't edit also. Editing requires more concentration, more contextual thinking, more care for language, et cetera. Writing is done just like that. 

But I feel as the late writer Khushwant Singh did that religious fervour is growing in India and according to many it is quite meaningless. There is no devotion, no dedication, and shows an absolute lack of discipline. Two families in our cluster of houses had Ganeshas in their homes and the noise through the day and night was tremendous. Is this a sign of saffronisation of India? A hard-core Hindutva friend once told me that he thought such fervour was misplaced, misguided. 

The two families I mentioned must have spent one lakh each on the idol, the food, the priest, and other miscellaneous expenses. Can they afford it? Did they take a loan to celebrate the festival? Lokmanya Tilak "popularized Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival in order to bridge the gap between Brahmins and non-Brahmins and find a context in which to build a new grassroots unity between them, and generate nationalistic fervour among people in Maharashtra against the British colonial rule." Are these principles being observed?

Well, questions will remain. 

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