We all celebrate the Ganpati festival every year with a lot of joy and it feels no less than Diwali especially in Maharashtra.
It’s not just a private ceremony in houses but a huge public festival that masses celebrate in huge groups.
But, how many of we actually know the reason behind celebration of Ganpati Festival?
Well, we all know that the first day, which is Ganesh Chaturthi, is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, but why is the 10 day festival celebrated like the biggest public event?
Keep reading to find out why.
Though the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi has been since time immemorial, celebrating it as a public event for 10 days started in the 1890s when freedom struggle was on its initial stage. During that time, Lokmanya Tilak Swaraj sought a goal of bringing the citizens together but saw that the whole country was too much divided on the basis of caste. He understood that to unite people for one cause, it is important to clear the differences of caste.
Keeping in mind this idea, he thought of a plan for a festival where the masses would gather for celebrating a festival annually. He aimed that the festival will bring communal and linguistic harmony amongst the people.
As all castes adored Lord Ganesha a lot, Tilak initiated the tradition of Sarvajanik Ganesha Utsav. He decided that in this festival, a clay idol of Ganesha will be put on public places for several days in Maharashtra. He also declared that it will include devotees gathering together to offer prayers, watch cultural programmes and deliver nationalistic speeches.
As expected, a lot of orthodox groups criticized him for bringing God on streets for politics matters, however, he managed to convince people by explaining his ulterior motive to all of them.
It was a brilliant plan of LokmanyaTilak to gather people for a religious purpose because the British police would never touch the religious sentiments of any group. In fact, the police didn’t just corporate but helped them in managing the festival in a smooth manner.
The festival was a success and since then, it has been bringing people together every year for 10 days.
Nobody knows who is of which caste in those huge gatherings and for these 10 days, every one forgets everything and celebrate their heart out with unity.