With due respect to Lord Ganesha and religious sentiments of everyone.
The 10 days festival starting with Ganesh Chaturthi brings happiness, fun and Lord knows what, to so many people across India.
I too use to enjoy the 10 days celebration, when I was at my home town Indore. Not any more, reasons unknown.
I would like to bring a darker side of this festival, no offense meant!!
I read an article in the newspaper where in two youths were beaten because they refused to donate money for Ganeshotsava which I think should be purely voluntary.
I myself was a witness to a harassment one shop owner in my locality was facing by the so called religious people of the area(read Gundas) for giving at least 500 Rs/-. He told them he had already given money to some other Mandal(Group which arranges the celebrations).They said it was not their fault.
When you have 3-4 different Ganesh mandal in same locality you cannot donate to one and say no to others, you have to donate to everyone of them, even if you do not want to..
Pune traffic conditions are as such,not so good, more often than not you can find traffic jams, irregular traffic, pot holes on the roads and to add to the traffic woes, you now have Ganesha pandals being erected in the middle of the road.
The picture below is the first Ganesh Pandal I came across on my walk on JM road. This one covers one of the 3 lanes on the road, blocks entire footpath.
The second picture is again blocking one fourth of the road and entire footpath.
The third picture shows a pandal which covers 2 shops, entire foot path and half of the JM road.
This one is on the road from Bal Gandharv Rang Mandir towars PMC; again this one is blocking half of the road and entire footpath.
This one is right under the nose of PMC, it is on a sharp turn from PMC towards Mangala theatre, it block one third of the lane for a right turn and almost entire road if you want to go straight, towards Shivaji Nagar Gawthan/Bhamburda.
This one here makes your left turn blind and is again covering some portion of the road.
This picturesque pandal was covering half the road and is on the court road very close to the civil court at Shivaji Nagar.
This one is very interesting, it blocks almost entire road, and has left some space for vehicles on its right and left hand side and is located at the Ganapati Chowk on the Dhole Patil road.
Who will fill the holes created in process of erecting these pandals?
Who pays for all the electricity this pandals are using for decoration and other purpose? Is this usage legalized? (Pune is lacking enough electricity and we are suffering from load shedding daily.)
What about the sound pollution when they play the devotional songs breaking everyone’s ear drums?
What about the water pollution when the idols will be immersed in rivers, lakes after 10 days? The special immersion areas providing by PMC for immersions are all dry and lack facilities, as reported by the Pune Mirror.
There are many more questions like the above, which I guess will be left unanswered as always.
All that I can say is Ganapati Bappa Morya!!