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Bengaluru witnesses a first of its kind protest by Ganesh Mandals

eNarada, Bengaluru, Tuesday, June 27, 2017

It seems that the Ganeshotsav heat has already begun in Bengaluru! Though the Ganesh Chaturthi (August 25) is still a few months away, the Ganesh Mandals in Bengaluru have joined hands demanding the government to allow them to organise a “free and fair” Ganeshotsav.

The members alleged that too many restrictions are in place for the organisation of Ganesh Utsav in the city which was against the spirit of festivities.

A protestor dressed as Ganesha idol was the star attraction. eNarada Pictures

It may be recalled that unlike other Indian cities, Ganeshotsav is organised in a different way in Bengaluru.
While the other Indian cities organise the Ganeshotsav for 11 days from the date of Vinayaka Chathurthi (lunar calendar year), the Bengaluru-based organisations prefer to hold it a three-day fair.

Surprisingly, the Ganeshotsav in Bengaluru is not just limited to the Vinayaka Chathurthi day but will continue to be held till November-December. In fact, most of these road-side festivities are organised on weekends so that they can draw huge crowds! Another surprising fact about Bengaluru’s Ganeshotsav is that there is always a competition among various organisations as to who organises diverse programme (which also include the look and height of the Ganesh idol). Probably, this is the reason as to why the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KPSCB) is asking these Ganesh Mandals not to go for taller Ganesha idols.

During the protest in front of Town hall today, Prakash Raju, general secretary of Bengaluru Mahanagara Ganesha Utsav Samiti said, “We condemn the local body’s move of imposing a number of restrictions on us. We don’t understand the logic as to why there should be a restriction on height of Ganesh idols. We are told to get permissions from various authorities including BBMP, BESOM, Police and others. However, we wonder, why is there no single window agency created to provide permission. There is an also a restriction on decorative procession which we feel is our right.”

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