India is a country of festivals. Without dancing and singing no festival is complete. And when it comes to such festivities, there are specifically two kinds of pollutions – air pollution and noise pollution, not to mentions the bucks spent like water. One of the festivals is the Ganeshotsava, also known as Ganesha Chaturthi.

In my personal opinion, it has become vital and in fact the need of the hour to stop celebrating the Ganapati festival as a public festival. 50 years ago things were different. But with each passing year the festival is dishing out a loss in moral values than anything else. When people like Poonam Pandey come to take the blessings of the Lord in shorts and a shirt, what’s left to imagination?

Loss of moral values

The mandals in Andheri have made it compulsory for everyone to wear clothes that will not be above the knees. They have ensured that if there are any girls or women around, they should be dressed properly. The mandals have made arrangements to give them clothes to wear as long as they are in the vicinity. This only shows one thing that no one really comes out of respect to Him, but it is just about spending and passing time.

Eve teasing

Even the Mumbai Police have made arrangements to see to it that there isn’t any kind of eve teasing during the time when people go out to watch the decorations during these 10 days. The boys roam about in groups teasing girls and women who also have come to watch the decorations. Police are getting stricter on such incidents and will be taking severe possible action.

Noise pollution

There is unprecedented amount of noise pollution all over and things start rolling well about 3-4 days even before the actual day arrives. The impact of the huge sound systems is so terrific that it makes us hear the songs through our chests and not ears. So high is the impact of the sounds that when the loud beating stops suddenly one starts to feel a huge relief. The sound still keeps playing in the ears even after it stops. There is an uncanny vibration in the ear that can permanently damage the hearing organ.

There is a thumping sensation in the chest, enough to send anyone packing out of this world. No one seems to care about the rules of the sound limit led down by the government. Even in the cultural capital of Maharashtra Pune, things are no good. I had read in newspapers about 3-4 years ago that a sound of up to 5000db was allowed. But when the actual sound was recorded it was measured at a whopping 27000db. The drums and the sound system keep beating all day long and that is when one comes to know about the value of peace and tranquility.

Waste of electricity

Another factor that no one takes into account is the waste of electricity. Some people made a hue and cry when IPL matches were held in summer in India as they thought water was wasted ‘unduly’. But why doesn’t anyone want to talk about the wastage of electricity (may be this is related to ‘spirituality’). Even before the sun is out, the huge halogen lamps start pouring out light brighter than the star up above.

These lamps run through the entire night and even until early morning they are on. To top it all, no one is held accountable for the misuse of power.

In all the hassle and bustle, spirituality is left far behind. I personally know so many people who don’t even know who started the public celebration of Ganeshotsava leave alone the purpose behind starting it or who penned the aarati (the devotional song) that is chanted all these 10 days. Let this celebration be a personal and family affair for every home.

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