Death of Religion and Community during Festival
Festivals are primarily religious in nature and significant. They bring joy and happiness in one’s life and it is the time when families reunite and celebrate. Like every year, last year Ganesha Chaturthi festival was celebrated. It is a Hindu festival of God Ganesha. Ganesha is widely worshiped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture.
During the time of Ganesha Chaturthi, people are excited to celebrate this festival and they bring Ganesha idols at their places. Lord Ganesha is worshiped for 10 days and on the 11th day the statue of Lord Ganesha is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing and singing and, is immersed in a river or the sea which is called Ganesha Viserjan.
Since a long time, I have been noticing that as time is passing, the meaning of religious festivals is changing. For instance, during Ganesha Chaturthi festival, Eco friendly Ganesha idols are made. Secondly, the kinds of songs that are played during the festival are not religious songs or prayers but they are item songs like Sheila Ki Jawani, Munni Badanam Hui and so on. According to me, the change that is taking place is for worst because item songs, eco-friendly idols, water pollution, noise pollution and traffic jam are increasing.
For the first time, when I heard item songs being played during Ganesha Viserjan, I was astonished. For days, I kept wondering why people play such kinds of songs during festivals. According to me, festivals carry certain meanings, beliefs with it. It is an insult towards a particular religion and a community when item songs are being played. Such act seizes the religion and community factors.
To figure out why people play such songs during festival, I asked my friend, Sumit Roy, who celebrates this festival every year. I asked, “What the reason is behind playing item songs during festivals?” He said, “Humara Josh Badhane Ke Liye Hum Aise Gane Bajate Hain. Agar Aarti ya Purane Gane Baajaye To Humme Josh Nahi Rahega Aur Itne Purane Gaane Bhi Kaha Hain Joh Hum Is Festival Mein Baja Sake” His this statement blew me off. If people think like this there’s nothing that can prevent the death of religion and community during festivals.
When I argued on his statement, he seemed to be so rigid and was not ready to accept the fact that it’s not correct to play such songs during festivals. I felt as if I was banging my head against the wall.
After having a word with him, I kept thinking that why do people need “JOSH” for celebrating a particular festival? Aren’t they already excited to celebrate their festival? I think, they can play subtle songs during Ganesha Viserjan and can happily immerse Lord Ganesha in the river or sea.
The whole meaning of celebrating festival is gradually changing. People are celebrating festivals only for their pleasure. There are no religious sentiments attached to it. In olden days, Ganesha Chaturthi festival was celebrated in large groups of hundreds (like a joint family). Now-a-days, it is just the opposite. Every family brings Ganesha idol at home and they celebrate it in the way they want too (like a nuclear family). In my opinion, this leads to the loss of social gathering between families.
During the time of Viserjan, on the roads, every 0.5 km, I notice many small families carrying Ganesha idol with them and dancing on their own tunes. This creates road blocks, noise pollution and traffic jam for other people who live there.
To avoid the death of religion and community during festivals, I think, a particular society should get one Ganesha idol in their society and all the members of the society should celebrate the festival together. Like this, they won’t be harming the environment by viserjing thousand’s of Ganesha idols and the idea of celebrating it to together (belonging to one community) will remain constant.
I personally feel that Individuals must realize the importance of celebrating festivals together and they must follow the old tradition of celebrating the festival (prayers or religious songs, like a joint family).
T.Y.B.M.M.- Ruchi Nandu