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Ganesh Chaturthi and Tilak

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From Holidays in India - Indian Festival 2009, Indian Holidays 2009, Indian Festivals 2009, Festivals Of India :


" Ganesh Chaturthi is a major festival of Maharashtra, where thousands of gigantic idols of lord Ganesh are immersed by huge processions of worshipers shouting, Ganpati Bapa Morya. With time, the festival has now gained popularity all over India, with celebrations in south India and Gujarat being no less spectacular than those of Maharashtra. The year 1893 brought a major change in the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. It was in this year that Lokmanya Tilak, an Indian nationalist, social reformer and freedom fighter reformed the annual Ganesh festival, from being a private celebration into a grand public event.

Till 1893, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were a private affair, not done on a public scale. People used to celebrate it in a traditional manner. It was Lokmanya Tilak who popularized Ganesh Chaturthi as a national festival, after visualizing its cultural importance. The reason for this was to enhance the sense of belongingness as well as togetherness among the citizens. It was also done with an aim to build a new grassroots unity between the Brahmins and the non-Brahmins. "


Hi all,

In this article, it is said that till 1893, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were a private affair, not done on a public scale. Could you please bring me some more detail on it ?

I imagine that even before 1893, Ganesh was brought in water at the end of the festival. This was certainely not done alone but with all the people of the village. So it was certainely a social work, a social festival, done on "a public scale". So I cannot understand this article.

Could you please explain what was the difference between before 1893 and after this date ?



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Ganesh Chaturthi was celeberated in private homes of Brahmins for a long time. This is the tradition which continues in South India now. No celebration at the village level. And Brahmins only.


Tilak got the idea of the sarvajanic celeberations from Bengal where they have been having Saravjanic durga Puja since 1757.


Durga Puja - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thanks for the information.

It's said that under the english colonisation, indian were not allowed to gather themselves. It was indeed a risk of indian revolution for english people.

That's why Tilak told the purpose of Ganesh meeting was only religious, not political.

Then, english allowed such meetings.

Of course, it is said that during these meetings, indian were talking of political topics against english.

If this is true, it is funny that ganesh chaturthi, as we know it today, is a consequence of political need first, then religious need. Am I wrong ?

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The independence movement can not be compared to a political movement. We were fighting the biggest power in the world and doing it by non-violent means. No revolution.


Tilak was not fighting for a Chief Minister's or Prime Minister's post. All that he got was years of imprisonment in the Mandalay prison.


The necessity was to unify the people in the struggle for freedom. At that time there were three leaders in India. Lal, Pal and Bal as they were called. Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab, Bipin Chandra Pal in Bengal and Bala Gangadhara Tilak in Bombay.


Please read up about Indian's Freedom struggle. About how a novel Ananda Math by Bankim Chandra and the song Vande Matharam in the novel became a rallying point in the struggle for independence. How the concept of other India was evolved to unify the people.


Anandamath - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Whatever you do please do realize the sacrifices that Tilak and others like him made to free India from hundreds of years of slavery. India is what it is today because of them.


Indians did migrate to U.S and other countries with dignity because of them. They did not have to go as indentured laborers or slaves.

It happened earlier in Mauritius, Fiji, and Surinam during the British rule.

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