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Ganesh Festival

Lokmanya Tilak


Lokmanya Tilak

Ganapati '01
A Brief Introduction :
Late Sardar Krishnaji Kashinath alias Nansaheb Khajgiwale gave the Ganesh festival the form of public celebrations. He had witnessed the public celebrations of this festival in Gwalior in 1892 which inspired him to start something similar in Pune . Thus in 1893, Shri Khajgiwale, Shri Ghotawadekar and Shri Bhau Rangari were the first three mandals to start public celebrations of Ganesh festival. Ganesh festival celebrated prior to this was a private affair. The credit of giving Ganesh festival the form of a public movement so that all the educated, non educated,young and old should participate in the national movement goes to Lokmanya Tilak. Tilak encouraged the Melas and also gave a new dimension to the Ganapati immersion procession. Tilak achieved the objectives of giving proper direction to the enthusiasm of the youth, to praise the artists and to educate the people. Slowly the Ganesh festival assumed the nature of public celebration outside Pune also. In the pre independence period the festival proved to be a very good medium to cultivate awareness among the masses and unite them. This helped in intensifying the freedom struggle. But in the post independence era the festival has become more entertainment oriented. The main motive of bringing about social awareness seems to have been lost. Still there is a ray of hope because there are some mandals who still remember that they do have a social obligation. We sincerely hope the number of such mandals increase.
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