Pimpri: Right wing organisations have announced that they will oppose the donation of Ganesh idols and have become more aggressive this year in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The members of the some organisations met PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar and Mayor Nitin Kalje and requested them to intervene in the matter.
These organisations have warned citizens that they will not allow idol donations to take place this year. The members of right wing organisations like Bajrang Dal are going to deploy their volunteers on the immersion ghats to prevent idol donation to take place and have said that they will encourage people to immerse Ganesh idols in the flowing river water.
Each year some social organisations in the industrial cities initiate collection of donated Ganesh idols on the day of immersion and then they immerse them in the water stored in the stone quarry in Wakad area. For last 22 years, Sanskar Pratishthan along with Tata Motors and Tata volunteers provide the facility for the people wanting to donate idols instead of immersing them in the water. They are doing this to reduce pollution of Pavana river.
Last year, in the 10-day festival more than 20,000 idols were collected through this initiative. They had also collected 22 tonnes of nirmalya during these days. Each year some Hindu organisations also appeal to people to immerse Ganesh idols in the river, as it is mandatory in the religious text (shastra) to immerse these idols in flowing water.
Dr Mohan Gaikwad of Sanskar Pratishthan said, “During a meeting held on Monday with the police officials, they asked us not to conduct idol donation this year. They have asked us to defer our initiative this year to avoid confrontation with volunteers of Hindu organisations who will be deployed at river ghats.” Expressing disappointment regarding Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s lack of support, Gaikwad demanded that these initiatives be organised by PCMC.
When asked whether the police department has issued such advice to organisers of this idol collection initiative Vithal Kubade, Police Inspector with Chinchwad Police station said, “We are not going to allow any situation where confrontation may take place. We will not allow any one to take law into their own hands.”
Mohan Gaikwad said, “We have been immersing these collected idols in the stone quarry in Wakad with due respect. The river water is unclean therefore it is not advisable to immerse idols in this water. If workers of Hindu organisations have some objection to our method of immersing idols, then they should suggest us ways to immerse the collected idols.”