Idol-immersion drive of HJS
Devout Hindu activists take initiative in undertaking idol-immersion drive during heavy rains
Considerable reduction in people donating idols
Kolhapur : Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) has been undertaking a drive since last several years for promoting immersion of Shri Ganesh idols in flowing water as per the science. Spontaneous response was received in rural areas of Kolhapur district to this drive and 100% immersion of idols was recorded in most of the villages. On 7th September, although it was raining heavily, devout Hindu activists joined HJS activists in undertaking immersion drive.
Town Council of Gadhinglaj was making an appeal to local residents for donation of idols but Shri. Gangadhar Hiremath, municipal councilor, like a sole fighter and his associates helped devotees in immersion of idols. Many devotees appreciated his help.
Very less response to Gadhinglaj Town Council’s drive undertaken with so much publicity and using government machinery !
Gadhinglaj Town Council had made lot of publicity about its idol-donation drive this year and all administrative machinery was put in force for the same. Big pandal was erected and devotees were appealed to donate idols by making announcement over loudspeaker. They, however, received only 360 idols.
Devout Hindus’ spontaneous response and awareness created at Kerli results in 95% idol immersion
1. Child seekers Kum. Atharv Mane, Kum. Namdev Mane and Kum. Vinay Pujari stood in rains with boards in hand, creating awareness amongst devotees. Shri. Sanjay Mane of HJS, Shri. Bhimrao Patil, Shri. Sambhaji Magdum, Shri. Anil Patil, Shri. Tanaji Patil, Shri. Rajendra Gavase, Sou. Pushpa Patil of Shiv Sena, Shri. Bhagavan Mane, ‘Dalit-Mitra’; Shri. Amit Patil, Dy. Sarpanch, Shri. Bhimrao Shinde, District-Chief of ‘Nabhik Samaj’, Shri. Chandrakant Patil, a member of Karveer Taluka Cricket Association also participated in the drive.
- 7 students of Government Agricultural College, Kolhapur tried to know more about this drive out of curiosity and later, even participated in the same.
- May devotees said that they learnt the science due to HJS and Sanatan Sanstha; so, they would immerse their idols instead of donating. Devotees could immerse idols in deep water as the water level of river rose.
- Help of students was taken to find immersed idols under idol-donation drive; but while searching for such idols, students were touching idols with feet. Teachers noticed it but said nothing to stop denigration.
Few special feedbacks
1. Shri. Ganesh Bate, Headmaster, G. G. Jadhav High School, Kerli and Shri. Arun Bhosale, Headmaster, Kelri Madhyamik Vidyalaya – Henceforth, we shall tell everyone to use idols made of clay and explain adverse effects of plaster of paris to local residents.
2. Shri. Bhimrao Patil, Ward-Head, Shiv Sena – Ganesh-devotees gave priority to immersion of idols in flowing water than donation of idols like last year. It happened due to the grace of Shrikrushna. We felt happy to render such service.
Local administration claims to have collected 3.25 lakh idols and 850 tons of stale flowers (nirmalya) etc
Local administration has claimed through a circular that 60,000 idols were collected in Kolhapur city while in rural areas, 2.5 lakh idols were collected. This number is actually not so large but still administration is inflating this number. Many Ganesh-devotees said that the number of donation was considerably reduced and people have preferred to immerse idols.
Changes taking place in Gadhinglaj rural area due to awareness created by HJS and response received
Villages where 100% idols were immersed
1. Sarpanch and local residents created awareness at Mugali village therefore, 100% idols were immersed this year.
2. At Khamaletti, Shindewadi, Tanavadi and Hanamantwadi, awareness was created through satsangs, meetings etc so, here too, 100% idols were immersed.
3. At Inchnal village, 100 % idols were immersed this year. During Ganesh festival, Raje Group Mandal had declared that they would immerse their idol and they kept their word. Shri. Dattatrey, a former soldier took initiative in the same.
Villages where there was increase in immersion of idols compared to last year
1. At Nool village, large number of idols are donated every year but this year, owing to awareness created by HJS, 70% devotees immersed their idols.
2. At Belgundi village, 100% idols were donated till two years back; but since last year, there is large decrease in donation of idols and devotees prefer to immerse idols. Shri. Bapu Pawar, a former army man took initiative here.
At Nagadevwadi, almost 100% idols were donated last year. This year, Shri. Ramchandra Ganapatrao Patil, the President of ‘Tanta-mukti Samiti’ and a devout activist of ‘Bhagava Rakshak Mandal’ brought board of HJS on importance of immersion of idols; distributed handbills on the subject; VCD made by HJS on immersion of idols was shown on social websites and local residents were contacted in person for explaining about immersion of idols; besides making arrangements for raft; leading to 100% immersion of idols. Ganesh-devotees commended efforts of devout Hindu activists for creating awareness towards immersion of idols and making arrangements for the same. Persons promoting idol-donation opposed immersion of idols; then devout Hindus firmly told them that they would immerse idols as per Dharma-shaastra. As a result, those in favour of idol-donation, also immersed their idols.
Highlights at Panchganga ghat in Kolhapur
1. On 7th September, it was raining heavily but there was lot of enthusiasm amongst devotees for immersing idols. After 3.00 p.m., devotees were coming in groups one after another. Municipal Corporation had set up Cells for donation of idols. There were municipal employees to accept idols given in donation. Announcements were made on loudspeakers about the same and there were few so-called environmentalists and social organizations to help them; however, devotees paid no heed to them and preferred to immerse idols. Although the Municipal administration moved heaven and earth for idol-donation using government machinery on large scale, it was observed that local residents of Kolhapur gave preference to immersion of idols.
2. Many devotees had voluntarily made arrangements of raft on river and immersion was done going deep into the river. Many devotees went down in river basin for immersion.
3. Few religious organizations helped Municipal Corporation in collecting stale flowers etc; but many devotees were in favour of immersing even ‘nirmalya’.
4. Kum. Rajeshwari Joshi, a 7 year-old child-seeker stood at the ghat holding banner despite rain and joined the drive.
5. Many devotees commended HJS drive when they saw various banners and appeal made on loudspeakers for immersion of idols and supported the drive; especially many young men raised their hands to appreciate HJS’ efforts.
6. Many devotees made inquiry about provision for immersion on ghat owing to appeal made by HJS.
7. One young man said that he was going to donate idol this year; however, due to HJS’ appeal he was going to immerse his idol and even motivated his friends staying in his lane to immerse idols.
8. HJS had provided chairs for devotees to do ‘puja’ before immersion at ghat; therefore, devotees could perform ‘puja’ of the idols before immersion although lot of mud had gathered due to rains. They thanked HJS for the help.
9. One group of a Ganesh festival committee raised slogans acclaiming HJS when they passed by HJS Cell.
10. Compared to last year, devotees gave preference to immerse idols at Rankala Talao and very few idols were received in donation.