Your Space: Festival with less noise, more cheer
Authorities’ enforcement of sound pollution during Ganeshotsav; better control on pandal sizes; blanket ban on the thermocol decorations and growing trend towards ecofriendly celebrations... Is the fest changing for the better?Updated: Sep 30, 2018 16:58 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
Most of the houses I visited had eco-friendly idols
This year’s Ganpati celebrations were comparatively silent. I feel the police did a good job as blaring music was absent from societies and mandaps. Most of the houses I visited had eco-friendly idols. It is a good thing that the new Police chief has brought about this change. I hope this trend continues for other festivals, marriages and other functions as well. I hope the use of firecrackers is also discontinued as not only does it lead to noise and air pollution, but also disturbs students, elderly and frightens animals.
Police force should undertake banning consumption of alcohol and tobacco at mandals
It was great to see the orders on blanket ban on loudspeakers been implemented. However, a few mandals were reluctant to follow the guidelines, though most implemented them as soon as possible. The next step that police force should undertake is banning consumption of alcohol and tobacco at mandals. Several karyakartas (members of mandals) have been seen doing the same while dancing in front of the loudspeakers all night. It is easier said than done, but we must at least start in that direction.
I applaud the decision to limit music to only dhol-tasha pathaks
Sustainable changes are always for the better, but the point is whether these changes are actually implemented on a large scale, and whether it left an impact. Undoubtedly, the efforts of the civic body to implement several strictures to control water, air and noise pollution is commendable, however, most of these were not really followed by the people. For instance, the complete ban on plastic and thermocol decorations was not really implemented as in the days leading up to the festival, several shops, especially in the peth areas were selling them. On the other hand, I really applaud the decision to limit the music to only dhol-tasha pathaks and not allow speakers or DJs, that did make a different, especially for those living the areas close to the mandals I believe. At the end of the day, change in mass perspective takes time, and I think we, as a community are heading in the right direction.
Immersion route should be properly chalked out
The police force is doing a good job by restricting loudspeakers, size of pandals,banning the use of thermocol, etc. during Ganpati festivals. It is unfortunate that all these things that should have been done voluntary by us is now being implemented by the police. These are basic lessons we learn in community living. Community living teaches us that, while celebrating or doing any other things we must take care that our celebrations are not causing any inconveniences to our neighbours. A few pointers to be kept in mind for the future — number of sarvajanik Ganpatis should be restricted to one in 1.5 to 2 km radius, and visarjan route should be properly chalked out along with time so as to ensure proper diversions and routes.
Less noise, more spirituality
We appreciate the steps taken by the Pune police commissioner K Venkatesham who went ahead and lodged cases against the erring mandals for violation of sound pollution norms. We believe that the Ganesh festival has to change in the days to come and must ensure that all the nuisance and boisterous nature of activities which have come up during the past one decade need to be stopped. We are seeing that mandals are not obeying the laws and violation of the rules are taking place. The politicians must start giving training to the mandals to follow the rule of the law and ensure that Ganpati festival becomes a peace festival with less music and more of spirituality.
Festival needs reforms
The Ganesh festival must provide a platform for reform in the mindset of the residents who currently believe in lavish expenditure and hedonism. In the name of public worship, errant mandals and hooligans are taking to the streets with several crimes on the rise. The police force has a tough duty handling the rising crime during Ganesh festivals. The environmental degradation too is a major issue which needs to be given due attention.
Unfortunately not all mandals were cooperative
Yes, slowly but steadily, Ganeshotav is changing for the better although, a small section of Ganeshotav mandals are not in sync with it. This year as there was strict court orders against DJ music and thermocol , every mandal had a chance to show their creative side and put up eco-friendly decorations. When immersion is concerned Manacha Ganapati from Kasba perhaps opted for an artificial lake which showed their willingness to change with time and need. Polluted rivers and water bodies is a very serious issue and such initiatives is a stepping stone to a better future.Unfortunately, not all mandals were as cooperative and insisted on the use of sound system and DJ, and fought with the police regarding the same. There is still scope for improvement, but we have started a journey on the right path.
Maya Hemant Bhatkar
First Published: Sep 30, 2018 16:56 IST