Chhath Pooja is being politicised. What about Ganesh Chaturthi or Dahi handi

MNS chief Raj Thackeray said yesterday that he is not against Chhath Pooja (after going against his earlier statement that he was opposed to the festival being organised by Biharis in various parts of Mumbai).

However, this turnaround on his last statement is on one condition – that Chhath Pooja will not be politicised. Mr. Raj Thackeray, can I know what do you exactly mean by politicising the festival?

Does politicising the Chhath festival mean alleging support or funding the festival?

If yes, I would like to show you a quote by one of your own party members during the recent Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Source: Indian Express

“Leaders across parties will be funding and supporting Ganesh mandals this year because elections are approaching. It is our festival and with the recent focus on the Marathi issue, it is a good publicity technique for the parties,” said Raju Palande, an MNS leader.

One more leader of your tribe says:

“We have put up five times more banners compared to last year. We have put up names and photos of local office bearers so that they can be recognised by the people. We are gaining in on the publicity garnered over the last six months,” said Andheri vibhag MNS leader Sandeep Dalvi.

What do you have to say on these Mr. Raj Thackeray?

I hope you will have answers ready to prove that this is not politicising. I think you will apply the same “son of the soil” alibi to save your face now; i.e. you can do such politicising of your own festivals because you are the son of the soil.

By the way, you seem to give more such illogical logics these days. Only yesterday you said this:

“When Lalu Prasad was the Chief Minister of Bihar, there were 1,200 murders. But, there was no demand to book him under NSA. When Biharis were killed in Assam, there was no uproar. A Goan minister opposed starting of a Goa-Bihar railway by saying that the state did not want more beggars. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit also spoke against people of Bihar and UP. But, only when Raj Thackeray speaks, there is a nationwide uproar and the Prime Minister has to intervene.”

Does murder and exploitation become legal if many people are doing it?

You really seem to be a maniac Raj? God knows when these political parties will be tieing your hands rather than just gaining political mileage of the situation.

My humble plea to all mumbaikars who have decided to do Chhath in mumbai is that they do not believe Raj Thackeray. Who knows what act of yours gives him the excuse of defining your act as political and he rampages your festival mood. May Chhath ma give him some sense and restore peace in Mumbai.

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23 thoughts on “Chhath Pooja is being politicised. What about Ganesh Chaturthi or Dahi handi

  1. Your argument makes no sense. Ganeshutsav is a festival that has been celebrated in all parts of Maharashtra from pre-independence days. It was in fact initiated by Lokmanya Tilak as a way to secretly convene freedom fighters to assemble under the guise of religious celebration to give voice to their fight against the British. Dahi Handi is a similar cultural phenomenon that has a long history of being celebrated among Maharashtrian communities. Politicizing or complete ignorance from politics for these festivals makes no difference to the average Maharashtrian community as these festivals are going to be celebrated any way. It is the festivals that are traditionally NOT celebrated in Mumbai that are under question here. Chat Puja, which is a new phenomenon is welcome if it’s a purely religious festival, with the aim of increasing harmony and assimilation between existing groups of people. However, if it’s sole purpose is flouting political muscle, which is the way it is largely being perceived for the last few years, then it’s vaue is questionable. For instance, I challenge you to find a slogan like “U.P. Bihar to jhaanki hai, Mumbai abhi baaki hai” during the entire Ganpati festival. Or Dahi Handi.

    Please don’t mix cultural events with politics. Political support of cultural events and politicization of a cultural event are two completely different things.

  2. Thanks Contravariant to comment on the issue. Very few sane marathis are speaking on the issue except raj thackeray (who i don’t consider sane). so it was good that u shared ur opinion. i will answer inline on your comment to make some sense.

    U: Ganeshutsav is a festival that has been celebrated in all parts of Maharashtra from pre-independence days. It was in fact initiated by Lokmanya Tilak as a way to secretly convene freedom fighters to assemble under the guise of religious celebration to give voice to their fight against the British. Dahi Handi is a similar cultural phenomenon that has a long history of being celebrated among Maharashtrian communities.

    Me: Chhath is an even older festival. biharis have been celebrating it from time unknown.

    U: Politicizing or complete ignorance from politics for these festivals makes no difference to the average Maharashtrian community as these festivals are going to be celebrated any way.

    Me: Even Chhath puja requires no affiliation to political parties. the devotees just need flowing water where they can worship the Sun god, both of which come free. It is the political parties that come smelling of political mileage.

    U: It is the festivals that are traditionally NOT celebrated in Mumbai that are under question here.

    Me: Even Ganesh Chaturthi wasn’t celebrated in Maharashtra before Tilak started it. But maharashtrians accepted it. Traditions are made. They do not come self made from the start.

    U: Chat Puja, which is a new phenomenon is welcome if it’s a purely religious festival, with the aim of increasing harmony and assimilation between existing groups of people.

    Me: I appreciate that you know the aim behind organising the festival.

    U: However, if it’s sole purpose is flouting political muscle, which is the way it is largely being perceived for the last few years, then it’s vaue is questionable. For instance, I challenge you to find a slogan like “U.P. Bihar to jhaanki hai, Mumbai abhi baaki hai” during the entire Ganpati festival. Or Dahi Handi.

    Me: the real purpose behind chhath festival hasn’t changed, now or before, in bihar or in mumbai. It’s the political parties that are infusing new tones to the festival. Raj can dare biharis to go. can he dare politicians gaining a mileage of these people to go as well? no he can only attack weak people.

    U: Please don’t mix cultural events with politics. Political support of cultural events and politicization of a cultural event are two completely different things.

    Me: friend, it’s not u and me who is mixing cultural events with politics. it is the politicial parties. in my article i have given u instances of how political parties are doing it everywhere – in mumbai, bihar, west bengal, delhi, south and everywhere in india.

    so why single out biharis.

  3. f you read the entire post, nobody is justifying killing Dharam Dev Rai. Dharam Dev’s death was not a planned murder.

    rahi, as regards to your question about where the Bihari’s should go, isn’t the answer to that question in creating SEZ’s in Bihar/UP? Should villagers in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra, Gujarat give up their farmlands to create jobs that will go to people from outside that state? Meanwhile, the farmers in UP/Bihar retain their farmlands and also get the manufacturing and other jobs as migrant labors by undercutting the local villagers? Is it any surprise that farmers in Singur rejected the Tata’s or farmers in Raigad rejected Reliance?

  4. does that mean biharis shud stay in their own state until bihar or UP decides to create jobs for them?

    and until the government awakens, they shud survive howsoever their govt keeps them- in poverty and with hunger

    friend, what i want to point out is that these politicians are using you and me and everyone for their petty gains – politicians in bihar to grab more money thru corruption, politicians in maharashtra to gain popularity by starting a fewd between people.

    please don’t give into their game.

  5. my 2 cents on this: (kind of lenghthy all of the things I say below but LOLS 🙂 I am just a common hindi guy with a lot on my mind)

    Raj *&^%$ Thackeray (or Balasaheb-*&^%$ Thackeray) and their gundas can beat up any number of our people and nothing will happen to them… max?? Their leader is arrested for one night, were the *&^%$ [marathi] cops suck his *&^% n the next day, he is free to go home. While if a youth from Bihar angered at the insult n injury inflicted on the people of Bihar/UP wants to make his voice heard, he’s shot dead.

    Yea the message is loud and clear, if the marathi’s just out of the blue feel like ridiculing you and hurting you then you must stay quiet n endure it. after all, it’s tyanchi mumbai… but you do not even think of fighting back cos if you do, you will be dealt with force.

    Well, as is clear, this issue not just strikes chords in Marathi hearts but all over the country and us especially; makes our blood boil. And we have a similarity here, all we can get from
    witnessing what ppl like Raj do is a feeling of melancholy because……… well I dont know, its maybe that we do know that

    a) the problem is real for sure.
    b) Raj Thackeray doesn’t have a solution. In fact what he is doing is very very horrific and deserves punishment… big time
    c)contemplating solutions, one can’t think of what to do…

    And now,

    1 The entire media,
    2 Intelligentsia like yourself speaking out, writing editorials in the papers,
    3 The aam admi speaking out everywhere, on the streets, blogs and forums being filled with hate msgs
    4 Small politicians first and then political heavy weights from Bihar/UP and the belt giving it all they have and giving it together couldn’t thwart “VOTEBANK CONSIDERATIONS”

    A man like Raj Thackeray can get atrocities done, spew venom and get away, while the bigger bada^s whose story you recalled-his uncle has been on lungi’s back first and then has been the cause of the loss of the lives of so many Muslim Indians and we are forced to f&^king call him a great man, even Amitabh Bachchan,, in public,, has to go excessive and say how larger than life Balasaheb is, that Balaji is family and other s&*t which really stinks …. this is India man and we f*&king have to live with this…. a million F*%KS!!

    Dont dream of action against him anyone please. Go and watch Heroes to see our filmy heros saying patriotic things or see Golmaal returns and just forget it

    chill…

    this claiming-to-be-well-read-intelligent-visionary but a cheap wanna be ‘politician’ Raj Thackeray continues to gives fiery speeches, cites examples from history of all over the world but the fact is that he doesn’t have a clue.

    He tells the frustrated Maharshtrians what he thinks is the cause of all of the problems of Maharashtra. Of course he tells them so because when growing up, ‘politician’ uncle Bala told him so. Of course Bala uncle didn’t have a clue either, somebody in a lungi molested him in his own childhood and he tried taking revenge on all lungi’s when he grew up.

    The stupid c&^t has made it sound like Mumbai is f*&king Singapore or Dubai and Bihar cum UP are as bad as Africa to the globe, the differences aren’t that bad!! it can’t even be faked!! Its common knowledge that the British developed Bombay city as a port and well, we can thank them and all of the communities in Mumbai since independence who made it the great city it is now. (of course that includes the Marathi community also which has always been here in big numbers) while farmers continue to commit suicide, youth instigated by such netas as Raj himself carry on the violence, the truth is that rural and semi urban Maharashtra has some of the highest number of Rapes and Murders in the country while development just isn’t reaching these inner parts of the state, it’s limited to major urban centers like Puna, Nashik, Mumbai only…

  6. I thought I’ll write something here but your answers to these commenters are very apt and I agree with you.

    But I don’t agree with tugenensis on “Should villagers in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra, Gujarat give up their farmlands to create jobs that will go to people from outside that state?”

    This is not a question of giving something to ‘outside’ people. First, the definition itself is wrong.
    It is a point of giving to someone more deserving. The jobs generally are not made for a particular region… the exams are quite open and whoever comes in merit gets the job.
    Instead of making ruckus & blaming others, why don’t these so called true Maharashtrians compete in those exams and get the jobs ?
    Nobody can snatch your job, go and get it if you really deserve and capable of.
    And pls don’t blame those poor migrants if your farmers decide to sell lands.

  7. Rahi,

    I completely agree with you that festivals all over are being politicized, and politicians are busy extracting mileage from them. If the politicization of Chatth Pooja involved making grandiose claims and the usual politician promises by any party or any leader, no one would have taken any offense to it (We all know they are mostly prevarications). However, what makes this a particularly sore point is the way the Bihari politicians were trying to politicize Chatth Pooja. For instance, consider the slogan I mentioned earlier – ““U.P. Bihar to jhaanki hai, Mumbai abhi baaki hai”. It was as if the Bihari politicians are trying to display – “Hey you know what you ignorant Mumbaiites – we own you. We own UP, we own Bihar, and now with support from the hordes of people (that they displaced out of their own states by their own incompetence), we will show you who’s the boss. All you Mumbaiites need is a little dose of Bihari politics, and we will show you how it’s done.”

    It is this political sentiment that raises the hackles of the local person. Note, I don’t mean a Marathi person. Even a Gujju or a Bengali living in Maharashtra should feel threatened by such chest-beating hullaballoo. It is really unfortunate that a large amount of India now views Marathi/Maharashtrians as myopic and parochial. The truth is far from it. The truth is that Maharashtrians have been accomodating for so long that these dirty politicians like Lalu, Nitish Kumar, Abu Azmi, etc. thought that it would be awesome to exploit this welcoming nature, and push for power in Maharashtra by flexing their newly acquired political muscle. This is what makes the common man unhappy.

  8. To Marathi Manoos, at least u have come to accept that it is the north indian politicians in mumbai who are the real culprit. however, u seem to consider maharashtra’s own breed of politicians as perfect. do u think this is true?

    Thanks cuckoo for agreeing with me. yes, let them take up those jobs by merit. and what is the case about outside people. aren’t indians eligible to take up jobs all over india?

    one more thing – we do not mind when we steal jobs of americans. but we mind when our own jobs are stolen.

    raj u hav raised very good points here. but i had to delete some words from ur comment.

  9. Hey Rahi,

    On another blog someone brought up this point. I am copy-pasting my response to that here:

    This point has been tossed around in so many forums it needs to be addressed. I would start by asking you a small question: Have you been to the US? If yes, great, then you have seen it all. If not, let me tell you that Indians in the US, are radically different than the Indians in India in every possible manner. Indians in the US respect and obey the letter of the law in the strictest possible sense. They observe and respect all traffic laws. They do not ogle at women like they haven’t seen one. They do not spit on the roads. They do not try to “score” on women in a crowded street. They do not invite their Indian leaders with a view of furthering their political interests in the US. They definitely do not raise slogans like “India to jhaanki hai, USA abhi baaki hai”. On the other hand, there is a serious, institutionalized effort to ensure that American citizens are given preference in jobs whenever possible. Have you experienced, or heard of someone’s experiences in the H-1 Visa processing? Every H-1 visa that is issued has to be supported with the claim that there was no qualified American available to perform the job that the person getting the visa is about to perform. Do you know what Indians are called in the US? Till you get your Green Card, you are called a Non-Resident Alien. Hey, NASA has a huge amount of Indian scientists. The Silicon Valley software and hardware companies have a huge collection of Indians. However, if I told you that NASA does not belong to the USA, or that Silicon Valley is not meant for Americans, what would you say? I would scoff at that. Do you know that there are pockets in the US that are deeply racist and intolerant, and that Indians are almost at the same social status as blacks? Hey at least in Mumbai, you wouldn’t be mugged or beaten on general principle on a daily basis just because of your skin color.

    American Govt. has started several endeavours to ensure that the so-called lost jobs are reclaimed by the American public. One of Obama’s campaign promises is to stop the leakage of jobs to other countries? Can you now form a party of leaders and pressurize him saying this is anti-worldly? Heck no. When in the US, every Indian is aware that he is at the mercy of the American Government, and that they are not in their own country. They fear the law, respect the locals, and value the local traditions. They may follow cricket online, but they go to football (American) games. They may have a Diwali get-together, but they also celebrate Christmas with the same gusto.

    There is abso-freaking-lutely no comparison. If immigrants in Mumbai were to behave at least half as well as Indians in the US, this agitation would be moot, and would have never arisen.

    Lastly, I do not think that the politicians in Maharashtra are perfect by a far stretch. RT’s methods are definitely more violent than I would condone. It is a great misfortune that angry mobs are rarely reasonable, and it is further unfortunate that sometimes a valid agenda for agitation can incite suppressed passions in a large section of society. Marathi politicians of yore have been spineless servants of New Delhi. They have ignored the plight of the local residents at the cost of appeasing whoever seems most likely to vote for them. Raj Thackeray seemed to be a refreshing change in the sense that he is young, energetic, passionate, and does not seem to care about who votes for him for the sake of his cause. However, I do agree that the methods adopted by MNS have had a really unfortunate fallout.

    However, I won’t say that I am anti-violence. In our country, most people don’t pay attention till there is a bang. What I find the most unfortunate is that it is the common, poor, and already miserable person that usually bears the brunt of such a bang. I hope enough attention has been obtained by now, and the real issues can be addressed and real grievances can be brought forth without any further carnage or mindless mud-slinging.

  10. @Cuckoo:

    You asked why is it that Maharashtrians don’t compete in these exams and take the jobs. Dear friend, this was one of the main issues. You must know how rampant nepotism and favouritism is in Indian politics and Government job markets. The core issue here is that the particular exams were never advertised to the Marathi populace! The only two Marathi newspapers which carried these ads have limited viewership, and definitely are not as popular as mainstream Marathi newspapers like Maharashtra Times, Loksatta or Sakal, which is what majority of Maharashtrians read! I am not even including Saamna (Sena mouthpiece), Navakal, Lokmat or other newspapers that are mre regional in nature. How is it that the railway jobs are advertised in umpteen number of Hindi dailies in Bihar, and only two lesser known newspapers in Maharashtra? Don’t you find this fishy?

    Secondly, the Bihari exam candidates had apparently approached Lalu to ask him to conduct their examination in Patna. He apparently refused, and forced them to go to Mumbai to take the exam. Why do this? What is Lalu’s motive behind this, if not asserting his strength as Railway minister, and more of the, “I can do what I want” attitude?

    I hope some of the grievances of the Marathi man reach you. I do not hate Biharis. I do not hate Hindi speaking people. However, there are issues that have to be in the glaring spotlight, without dirty votebank politicking.

  11. To marathi manoos,

    If indians behave the way they do in the US (which is different from the way they behave in their own country), it is because they know that they are on a different land with different laws.

    Do indians have to be as specific on their behaviour in their own homeland, probably if you still consider bihar to be as much a part of india as maharashtra?

    i have forever tried to convince you that do not judge people by their politicians who allege to be representing them. The people have come to mumbai in search for livelihood and a better living. They can’t help if one day a politician comes up and says that he/she represents them.

    a good analogy of this can be drawn between marathis and raj thackeray. u have already said that you do not approve of his violent ways. still raj thackeray says that he has a mandate from all marathi people for such a heinous act. does your speaking on this blog make him any less representative.

    Therefore, i will once again tell you that let the political parties play their games. you and me shall not fall for their game.

    hope that i have convinced you this time.

  12. Just joined in and wish to give my comments:

    Cuckoo, just to let you know, as far as the state government jobs are concerned, they are advertised in local newspapers only and that too within the boundaries of the state and not outside it.

    When there is a question of jobs being advertised by a national agency, i.e. Railways, jobs are advertised in all major newspapers across the nation in addition to thse jobs being advertised in Employment News/Rozgar Samachar.

    Not an intended offence, but you are carrying some false notions. When Biharis asked Lallu to conduct in their home state, it was purely for the security reasons which ultimately they had to face. When Lallu refused them this privelege, he gave upper hand to good competition and gave locallites a chance to show their innate talent. But as you know, locallite’s original talent lies somewhere else. They showed their herd mentality and did utmost preparation for beating up the innocent people instead if preparing for the exams.

    Bottomline is, “If you can’t face the competition, eliminate the competitor, who is the root cause of it.”

  13. Wow !! I quite like the conversations. 😀
    Rahi, right now I don’t have time to write in detail what I want to say on this matter, but will still try to.

    @Marathi Manoos
    First, I am sorry to say.. your name ‘Marathi Manoos’ itself smells of regionalism. Why couldn’t it be just ‘Manoos’ ?

    You say.
    Marathi newspapers don’t have those ads. <– Are those poor hard working people from other states responsible for that ? Why should they take the brunt ?
    Why don’t you, if you HAVE to, burn offices of these Marathi newspapers or the govt which might yield some results ?

    On your second point of Lalu refusing to let the exam happen in Patna. Tell me, why you guys always think of negative out of it ? Leave the politicians and their politics aside. They are all dirty including your Raj thackeray. They all want votes in the end.

    But my dear friend, why do you become a puppet in their hands ? Don’t you have a mind of your own ? I take it as a positive sign. Don’t you think by mingling it would ultimately help us in knowing ‘other’ people and their culture better ? I would want to think of this as a first step towards that. For me, India is first, all other states including Maharashtra & Bihar are secondary.

    And nobody has stopped Marathi people from going out of Maharashtra and fetching a job. If they deserve, if they are hard working & better than others, they’ll definitely get it. If they are really in need of a job, they’ll try to do it instead of making a ruckus & killing some innocent people.

    If you don’t get it even after this then may God help you.

  14. this is called “dusre ki ladai me jabardasti fas jana”. sorry cuckoo. all bcoz of me, ur blog is taking a regional colour.

    but i am also thankful to u that because of ur blog the issue is being seen and commented by more and more people, many of who wouldn’t want to be involved in an issue facing poor people from a particular state. but they are now opening up on ur blog. thanks once again.

  15. You are welcome dude.
    Aapne maithili baaje chie ki? 🙂

    Now that you have pasted on my blog & ppl have seen it before I could delete, its ok. If you haven’t noticed, there is one chatbox on my blog in sidebar for any such off-topic comments/queries. For future pls use that.
    No need to copy, you can just tell me abt it. I prefer my posts to be free from all off-topics. 🙂

    And I will definitely write on this topic once I come back, so wait & watch. You & all your readers including MM are invited there to participate when the post appears. And at that time if you feel that it should see a wider audience, feel free to recommend it to Desipundit or Blogbharti or any other. 🙂

    Now, don’t disturb, I am off. 🙂
    BTW, you haven’t said anything abt my reply to MM. If I don’t come here, you have my mail-id.

  16. thanks aryan for that information. wl check some day soon abt good jobs in bihar. in the meanwhile my readers too can profile these websites. hope they get some cool job in their native place.

  17. There is no need to argue on subjects like chhath puja. Whether it is a bihari or a marathi or an american, all of us are sustained by Solar Energy. We should stop listening to our politicians and we should start listening to facts. Most important aspect of chhath is its scientific significance which not many people are aware of. I recommend people to read The science of Chhath (e book) by yogishri Oumkaar which is available on website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/chhathpuja/scienceofchhath.htm

    I am pasting few lines from the website as I have been doing with several blogs over past few months. I hope the readers will find it interesting.

    The entire process of Chhath is divided into 6 scientific stages of Conscious Cosmic Solar Energy Infusion Technique (Conscious Photoenergization Process).

    Stage 1: Fasting and the discipline of cleanliness leads to detoxification of the body and mind. This stage prepares the body and mind of the Vratti (devotee) to receive the cosmic solar energy.

    Stage 2: Standing in a water body with half the body (navel deep) in the water minimizes the leak of energy and helps the prana (psychic energy) to move up the sushumna (psychic channel in the spine).

    Stage 3: Cosmic Solar Energy enters the Vratti’s pineal, pituitary and hypothalamus glands (Triveni complex) through retina and optic nerves.

    Stage 4: Activation of Triveni (tri-glandular complex) Pineal, pituitary and hypothalamus

    Stage 5: A kind of Polarization of happens in the spine, which results in the Vratti’s gross and subtle bodies getting transformed into a

    cosmic powerhouse. This can also lead to the awakening of the latent psychic energy popularly known as the Kundalini Shakti.

    Stage 6: The body of Vratti (devotee) becomes a channel, which conducts, recycles and transmits the energy into the entire universe.

    The physical bodies of all the living organisms are highly sophisticated energy conducting channels. The solar bio-electricity starts flowing in the human body when it is exposed to solar radiations of specific wavelengths.

    Under particular physical and mental conditions, the absorption and conduction of this solar-bio-electricity increases. The processes and the rituals of Chhath puja aim at preparing the body and the mind of the (Vratti) devotee for the process of Cosmic Solar Energy Infusion.

    Not many people are aware that the scientific process similar to Chhath was used by the Rishis of yore for carrying their austerities without any intake of solid or liquid diet. Using the process similar to the Chhath puja, they were able to absorb the energy needed for sustenance directly from the sun, instead of taking it indirectly through food and water.

  18. Pingback: The weeks that were…for Shiv Sena « ItyaAdi

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