Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal greeted residents of the national capital on Friday on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi after his 10-day vipassana session in Jaipur. CM began his address by saying ‘Om Gan Ganapataye Nemaha’, a mantra used by devotees of Lord Ganesha.
In his address, Kejriwal emphasised the significance of the festival for Hindus, “traditionally speaking, in the month of Bhadrapada, Shukla paksha and Chaturthi tithi, all of us worship the image of Lord Ganesh after doing pran pratishtha”, Kejriwal said revealing his familiarity with the rituals of the Hindu calendar.
“Lord Ganesh is the first one to be worshipped among Gods, he is the destroyer of all obstacles which is why before embarking on any new tasks, we worship Lord Ganesh”, Kejriwal added.
He further dipped into Hindu mythology and talked about public celebrations of the Ganesha festival. ‘During the British rule, Indians were not allowed to gather together and celebrate any cultural functions which is why pujas were conducted at home. Bal Gangadhar Tilak first broke away from this by organizing public celebrations of the Ganesh Puja for the first time in Pune and it was this effort that led to an Andolan,” Kejriwal recalled.
The public procession of Ganesha Chaturthi became a catalyst in the freedom struggle, CM underlined.
“We have to instill the feeling of spirituality and patriotism in our children,” the chief minister said. In the view of the Covid-19 pandemic, celebration of any festival is banned across Delhi.
Taking cognizance of the same instructions, CM said, “the fight against Corona is the biggest battle that the country is fighting in this decade and we have to defeat Corona together. No permission has been granted for public celebrations in pandals or otherwise in Delhi to avoid crowding.”
The government is organizing a magnificent programme at 7 pm which the chief minister and council of ministers will attend. Shankar Mahadevan and Suresh Wadikar will perform and the program will be live telecasted.
The leader of the opposition, Ramvir Bidhuri has criticized the Kejriwal government for spending crores of taxpayers’ money on ‘ propaganda’ and said that this money could have been spent to build oxygen plants for the citizens of the national capital.
Incidentally, the Kejriwal government had organized a mega celebration of Diwali in the Akshardham temple during the Covid shutdown last year where the chief minister and council of ministers led the Puja dressed in traditional attire. The programme was broadcast live across many channels.