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20220925 121740

The concept of ‘one village, one cannabis’ has been embraced by several villages in Maharashtra

thehourlynews 4 weeks ago 0
20220925 121740


Concept

The inhabitants of the village were mostly fishermen and seafarers.

Mumbai:

The Ganesh festival sees families and ‘mandals’ or groups install idols of the Lord at home and in groups across Maharashtra, but decades ago, Agroli village pioneered a different approach that is now being emulated by many other villages.

In 1961, communist leader Bhau Sakharam Patel proposed the policy of “One Village One Qanpati” during the Ganesh Festival in Agroli, which is now part of the Navi Mumbai district.

Bhau Sakharam Patil has suggested following the outbreak of influenza epidemic in the area, that each family does not need to install their own idol, but there should be one common Ganesh idol for the village which will save expenses.

The inhabitants of the village were mostly fishermen and salt workers (Agari-Koli) whose sources of income were salt industry, fishing and rice cultivation.

“People were poor, but many families are still borrowing money to celebrate the holiday and are burdened with debts,” said Dilip Vidya, a trustee of the Sarvajanik (community) Ganesh Mandal from Agroli.

At first the villagers were not very receptive to the idea because they were afraid that breaking the tradition would provoke divine wrath. But gradually, each family joined the boat and the village began to celebrate the festival by installing a common Ganesh idol for 11 days.

Speaking to PTI, Bhushan Patil, grandson of Bhau Patil, said: “This was the first village where the ‘One Village One Ganpati’ concept was implemented and the tradition has continued for more than 60 years.”

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He added that this helped promote unity in the village.

“There are 1,500 families in the village and every family contributes to the festival,” Patel said.

He said the concept has spread to other places in Maharashtra as well, and has spread again after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The One Village One Ganpati concept is now popular in western Maharashtra as well, particularly in Satara, Sangli and rural areas of Solapur and Pune districts,” Manoj Lohia, Special Inspector General of Police (Kolhapur Ring) told PTI.

This year 593 villages in Satara set up a common idol of Ganesh.

Lohia said as many as 200 villages in Sangli, 300 villages in Solapur and 400 villages in Pune district have implemented the policy.

In the Marathwada chain comprising the rural districts of Aurangabad, Jalna, Bid and Usmanabad, a total of 1,351 villages installed common Ganesh idols during the festival.

In the Nanded domain, which consists of the districts of Nanded, Parbhani, Hingoli and Latur, 1,405 villages implemented the single Ganesh idol policy.

In the five districts of the Nashik chain, 1,750 villages have implemented this concept.

Inspector General of Police (Aurangabad Group) KMM Prasanna said it helps create a healthy and harmonious atmosphere where everyone gathers to celebrate the festival.

He said that after the COVID-19 pandemic, people in many places felt the need to cut back on festival spending.

In some places, the police and management are promoting the concept as many Ganesh Mandals lead to rivalry and tension between groups.

According to police department data, this year 71,338 Ganesh Mandals got permission to install Ganesh idols in a public mob in Maharashtra.

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(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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