Ganesh idol, Muharram Taboot at same pandal
Two Ganesh mandals set an example of unity in diversity
Pune: India is a country which believes in unity in diversity. And for that matter, the city has a rich tradition of communal harmony for hundreds of years. Carrying it forward, Jwalamukhi Mitra Mandal, Bopodi and Dhobi Ghat Mitra Mandal, Shankarsheth Road are celebrating Ganeshotsav and observing Muharram together.
As this year, Ganeshotsav coincided with Muharram on Thursday, these two mandals celebrated Ganeshotsav and observed Muharram together with the only aim to end the hatred between the two communities and celebrate each and every festival together with peace, harmony and gaiety.
Jwalamukhi Mandal has completed 38 years and from last 25 years, they have been installing Ganpati idol and Muharram Taboot in one pandal. Vijay Parmar, president of the mandal, said, “From last 25 years, we are celebrating Ganeshotsav in a unique manner with an aim to end the hatred between the two communities.”
Usually, in Muharram, the prasad (holy offerings) is non-veg but this mandal offers vegetarian food to Muharram Taboot. Parmar further said, “Every day, there is a vegetarian offering. On the eve of Muharram, the offerings were dal khichdi, sheera and dalcha rice. After immersion of Ganpati idol, the Muharram Taboot is taken to my place or members take it to their home and worship it for the whole year until Ganeshotsav.”
Similarly, this is the third generation of Dhobi Ghat Mitra Mandal of Shankarsheth Road to follow this unique tradition. Sumit Belitkar, president of the mandal, said, “There is a Ganpati temple near Golibar Maidan, Shankarsheth Road and in that temple, we have installed a Muharram Taboot along with the Ganpati idol and worship it with all rituals. During the Ganeshotsav, the Muharram Taboot is shifted from the temple to the Ganpati pandal for 10 days and after the visarjan of Ganpati idol, the taboot is again kept back in the temple. This is the only Ganpati mandal in Pune Cantonment to celebrate Ganeshotsav in such a unique manner.”
“On the eve of Muharram, we take out a procession from Dhobi Ghat to Salisbury Park and distribute food items,” Belitkar added.