Chennai: Over 18,000 huge Ganesh idols were immersed throughout Tamilnadu after ten days of devotion and gala social interaction around Ganesh Chathurthi Pooja Pandals. For over two decades, Tamilnadu (a border state with a long sea coast) has been experiencing the annual public Ganesh Chathurthi utsav – particularly among awakened Hindus – who are alive to aggressions from across the watery border.
That way, Ganesh Utsav has been gaining momentum year by year. As it grows in strength, all sections of society, including Muslims here and there, volunteer to associate in this aggressive Hindu upsurge. In Trichy, it was an all religion reception to Lord Vinayaka. In Cuddalore district, the immersion ceremony was attended by Muslim leaders who distributed sweets to the devotees. Erode and Thiruverkaadu (near Chennai) witnessed similar scenes of inter-faith cohesion thanks to Lord Ganesh. A highlight of Ganesh Utsav comes from the Meenambakkam Airport taxi stand Ganesh Utsav Pandal. The drivers belonging to all three religions namely Hindu, Muslim and Christian, joined hands to celebrate Ganesh Utsav.
This has been going on for the last 41 years continuously. All the same, Hindu Munnani makes it a point to underline the ‘right of way’ of Hindus using Ganesh immersion procession for the purpose. For two decades and more, octogenerian Ramagopalan of Hindu Munnani courts arrest by carrying a small Ganesha idol on his head and walking along a public thoroughfare that the police calls ‘sensitive’. This attempt of Hindu Munnani to register the ‘right of way’ for Hindus took place this year also.