Tamil Nadu Government has interdicted the traditional festivity of Sri Vinayaka. However, as an unintended consequence, the imposed restriction is going to unite Hindus!
On August 9, 2018, the Government of Tamil Nadu issued an order which restricted the Hindus in their way of worship of Sri Vinayaka (Ganapati) in public and the ensuing processions. The order notified in the Gazette as ‘Guidelines for installation and worship of Vinayaka idols and also immersion thereof’ is a series of do’s and don’ts. The notification also includes the application form which the organisers are supposed to present to seek permission (NOC) from the district administration.
A Sri Vinayaka idol procession crossing big mosque at Begampur in Dindigul, Madurai
Such a diktat, purportedly following the 2017 order of the High Court, has irked the Hindus in the state. Hindu Munnani has been at the forefront in agitating against this blatant anti-Hindu order of the state government.
Speaking to Organiser, Shri Rajesh of Hindu Munnani informs that the Government has hurt Hindu sentiments all over the State and it will be opposed at any cost. “Our State president of Hindu Munnani is on a hunger strike in Chennai since the 12th of this month. He is on an indefinite fast until the order is withdrawn.” When asked if the Government or the administration approached them to understand their concerns, he says that a police officer was sent only to stop the hunger strike by citing procedures.
As per the Government Order (GO), an organiser who wishes to install the idol of Vinayaka and take out a procession before immersion is a potential threat to peace, tranquillity, public safety and a source of pollution! Though this seems outrageous, the GO in specific terms calls for strict implementation with ‘immediate effect’.
Resisting the Order
Ram Gopalan, founder president of Hindu Munnani, sat on a hunger strike on September 12 to protest against the anti-Hindu order.
The 1980’s was the era when Dravidian politics was at its peak. Anti-Hindu agitation was the order of the day. The entire Government and administration were out to undermine Hindu interests. It was then that Hindu Munnani initiated public celebration of Vinayaka Chathurti festival 34 years ago for the sake of unification of the Hindu society in the State. Since then the number of public pandals and processions have increased every year. Today in Tamil Nadu Vinayaka is worshipped in more than 1 and a half lakh places in public, and nearly 30,000 processions take place before immersion. It has not only strengthened the faith of Hindus in them but has also brought in harmony among all Hindus.