Expressing his displeasure over the ban on Plaster of Paris (POP) idols, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, on Wednesday, said that the decision has hurt the Hindu sentiments.
While hearing the public interest petition (PIL) filed by Dr Narendra Dabholkar, president of the Maharashtra Andhshraddha Nirmulan Samiti (MANS), in 2005, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court, on Tuesday, imposed a total ban on POP idols. Stating that the idols pollute water and hence the environment, the court asked people to use soil and natural colours to make the idols and ordered criminal proceedings against those flouting the law.
Ignoring the environmental aspect, Thackeray said, “No one has the right to interfere in Hindu festivals such as Ganeshotsav. The decision with regards to the Ganesh idols has hurt the Hindu sentiments. Shiv Sena will never let this happen and will lead the fight against it.”
“I do not want to say anything against the high court. The MANS, an organisation working against orthodox practices, is responsible for this. What is the connection between an anti-orthodox organisation and a Hindu festival? If they are so protective of the environment, they should fight to save Lavasa and Jaitapur,” argued Thackeray.
Thackeray believes the move is not justified, as the idols are not immersed in drinking water or water used for public purposes. “We also care for the environment, but this should be done after consulting the people,” he added.
The Sena will be holding a joint meeting with the Shiv Sainiks and idol-makers on Saturday, after which they will decide their next course of action.
Meanwhile, Dr Narendra Dabholkar said, “In Pune, the idols are immersed in Mula-Mutha, while in Kolhapur the immersion is carried out in Panchganga. The water from Mula-Mutha and Panchganga is used for drinking purposes. We are not against POP idols per se, but the immersion should not be carried out in resources of water. If the government devices an environment-friendly system to immerse these idols, we will only welcome it.”