Anna Hazare inspires city’s Ganesh mandals | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Anna Hazare inspires city’s Ganesh mandals

This year, even the city’s Ganesh mandals are taking inspiration from Anna Hazare.

art and culture Updated: Sep 07, 2011 13:12 IST
Pooja Maheshwary

This year, even the city’s Ganesh mandals are taking inspiration from Anna Hazare.

Sewri’s Madhyavarti Ganeshotsav Mandal has taken up a social theme, Shivshahi-Lokshahi (Shivaji’s era versus today’s democracy) exploring Anna Hazare’s and Ramdev Baba’s fight against corruption. Says Vijay Indulkar, president of the mandal, “Shivaji Maharaj took care of farmers during his reign, but today, farmers are committing suicide. Shivaji looted the city of Surat and distributed the wealth amongst his people, whereas today, our leaders are hoarding the money in Swiss banks. Our pandal depicts Anna fasting against corruption and Baba Ramdev protesting against black money.”

The pandal also screens a 10-minute short film on Hazare and the problems of corruption for visitors. Highlighting another social evil is the Abhyudaya Nagar Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal near Lalbaug, which is trying to spread awareness on female foeticide.

Says Mangesh Parab, head of the mandal, “A woman is a daughter, wife, mother and even a goddess. If people can respect goddesses like Saraswati and Durga, why can’t they respect their own daughter?” The mandal is also screening a self-made eight-minute short film on the theme. Other must-see Ganpati pandals include Tilak Nagar’s Sahyadri Krida Mandal, which has created a replica of Delhi’s famous Swaminarayan Akshardham temple at an estimated cost of Rs 60 lakh. Similarly, the Ganesh Galli Mandal in Lalbaug has recreated the Srisailam Mallikarjun temple located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, which is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Shiva.

Continuing the theme, the Fort Vibhaag Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal has recreated all 12 Jyotirlingas. Says president Ravi Surve, “The Jyotirlingas are abodes of Shiva, situated in remote areas like Somnath and Kedarnath. They are difficult to reach, so this year, we decided to give devotees a glimpse.”