First time in its 86-year history, the famed and iconic Lalbaugcha Raja will not be installed during the upcoming 11-day Ganeshotsav, official sources said here on Wednesday.
It will be replaced by a small idol of around 3-4 feet for the traditional ‘puja’ and other ceremonies, at the 127-year-old 11-day Ganesha festival, which starts on August 22.
This will be in adherence to an appeal by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to celebrate Ganeshotsav 2020 with more devotion and less pomp in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“This year, we shall celebrate Ganeshotsav as ‘Arogyautsav’ with 11-days of blood and plasma donation camps, donate Rs 25 lakh to the CM Relief Fund for corona aid, help families of the soldiers martyred in the recent India-China border skirmish and Maharashtra Police personnel who lost their lives in the ongoing war against virus,” Sudhir Salvi, Secretary, Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (LRSGM) told mediapersons.
In view of Thackeray’s plea, all Ganeshotsav Mandals in the state took a voluntary decision to restrict the height of Ganesha to less than four feet, first time in over four decades since the trend of gigantic idols started.
The normal imposing, 15-feet plus tall idol of Lalbaugcha Raja, and other mega-idols in Mumbai, Pune and other cities will be conspicuous by their absence in the Maharashtra Ganeshotsav celebrations.
A majority of the mandals will have subdued celebrations with small, manageable idols as there will be no huge processions or the elaborate immersion ceremonies at seafronts or other water bodies, as decided by the government.
Besides concentrating on social activities related to the pandemic, many huge mandals will make arrangements to offer online “aarti”, “puja” or “darshan” to the devotees to avoid crowds.
Sushant case: Shiv Sena slams BJP for ‘maligning’ Thackerays
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for “politicising” the Sushant Singh Rajput case by linking a state minister for alleged political gains.
In a strongly worded column in party newspaper ‘Saamana’, Raut claimed that this was a conspiracy of the BJP with the help of a section of the media to malign the Maharashtra government under Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
“One TV channel uses derogatory, defamatory, and threatening language against the CM. This has distressed many, including Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar. A section of the media has the support of the opposition party which seeks to destablise the government. Pawar asked me what action the government has initiated over the disrespect meted to Thackeray who holds a Constitutional post,” Raut said.
He suspected that the entire matter was scripted in advance, with the opposition linking Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray to the case only because he shared cordial relations with several Bollywood personalities, and dubbed it a “conspiracy against the Maharashtra government”.
Targetting the Bihar Police, Raut said it has unnecessarily jumped into this case, especially since nobody stood behind Sushant Singh Rajput during his struggling days, and whatever the actor achieved was due to Mumbai.
“Sushant and his father Krishna Kishore Singh did not enjoy cordial relations, as he was upset by the latter’s (father’s) decision to remarry. He was instigated to lodge the FIR with Bihar Police, which came to Mumbai to investigate an incident which occurred here. Bihar Police is not some ‘Interpol’. This is not acceptable,” Raut declared.
Slamming Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey, the Sena leader said that he has been breaking service rules by taking part in TV debates, commenting on Mumbai Police, and other objectionable actions.
“Who is this Pandey? In 2009, he had quit the police service to contest as a BJP candidate from Buxar, but after the then party candidate threatened rebellion, Pandey withdrew — his situation became ‘na ghar ka, na ghat ka’, with his political mission failing,” said Raut.
Later, he pointed out, Pandey pleaded to rejoin service, with his wife reportedly appealing that when he quit the police force, he was not mentally stable.
“If such a ‘mentally unstable’ person is still taken back on duty, that’s Bihar government’s problem. But today, he is among the closest to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and now media reports suggest he will contest the Assembly elections on a JD-U ticket,” Raut alleged.
Raut said given the high-profile matter, the Mumbai Police should have briefed the media on the probe’s progress every alternate day and made it clear it would investigate if any minister’s or politician’s name cropped up.
“They dragged the investigations. Calling film personalities regularly fuelled gossip and it must be ascertained if this was an attempt to terrorise Bollywood,” said Raut.
Ex-Maharashtra CM Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar dies at 90
Veteran Congressman and former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar, died due to old-age related problems in Pune on Wednesday, family sources said here. He was 90.
Last month, Patil-Nilangekar tested Covid-19 positive and fully recovered from it.
He is survived by four sons Dilip, Ashok, Vijay, Sharad, and a daughter Chandrakala Dawle, besides grandchildren including two who are Bharatiya Janata Party politicians.
Born in Nilanga village in the erstwhile Hyderabad State, Patil-Nilangekar took part in the Indian Freedom struggle and later served as the 10th Chief Minister of Maharashtra between June 1985-March 1986.
However, he was forced to resign following Bombay High Court strictures in the MD exams marks scandal involving his daughter.
A voracious reader, classical music lover and sport enthusiast, in 1968, he had founded the Maharashtra Education Trust which runs over two dozen schools, colleges and specialized education institutions
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed his condolences, describing Patil-Nilangekar as “a leader who connected and guided two generations” making immense contributions to the development of the state.
“A freedom fighter with commitment and firm views, he is among the leaders who were at the forefront of the state’s development and progress of the Marathwada region,” said Thackeray.
Deputy Chief Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar said Patil-Nilangekar’s life symbolized the struggle through which he came up and the state has lost a stalwart who helped build up the state with his strong political and intellectual leadership.
Congress state President and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that in Patil-Nilangekar’s demise, the state has lost “a visionary and a disciplined leader” who strived for the state’s development.
BJP Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said Patil-Nilangekar fought for the country’s freedom and was recognized as a staunch and dedicated leader.
NCP President Sharad Pawar and a former CM, described Patil-Nilangekar as a tough, no-nonsense leader who created several educational institutions to provide good education to the youth in rural areas.
Other former CMs like Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan in separate messages, have condoled the demise of Patil-Nilangekar.
Promote Sanskrit as global language: Maharashtra Governor
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Describing Sanskrit as the “mother of Indian languages” and repository of wisdom in many disciplines, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday called for making efforts to promote it among the youth and students as a ‘world language’.
“Merely singing praises of Sanskrit will not suffice to preserve and promote the language. We must bring the language into practical use,” urged the Governor while inaugurating a national webinar on ‘Sanskrit: Origin of All Languages: Its Past and Present Relevence’.
Crediting the ancient language with keeping India united for many centuries, Koshyari said that the Sanskrit mantras sung in all corners of the country, including at Rameshwaram, Jagannath Puri, Badrinath-Kedarnath and even at the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu (Nepal), underscore the unifying character of the language.
The Governor pointed out that while many modern European languages have literature dating back to only 500 years, Sanskrit has literature dating back millennia.
Koshyari also appealed to scholars to undertake research about the science of sound and music associated with Sanskrit language.
The webinar was organised by the School of Language and Literature of the Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar Solapur University (PAHSU).
Among those who attended the webinar included PAHSU Vice Chancellor Mrinalini Fadnavis and Pro-VC Debendranath Mishra, Kavi Kulguru Kalidas Sanskrit University Vice-Chancellor Shrinivasa Varakhedi, Deccan Deemed University Acting V-C Prasad Joshi, 800 principals, teachers and students from across the country.
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