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Traditions and Festivals India's vibrant festivals and unique traditions..

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  #1  
Old August 26th, 2004, 06:58 AM
Cooldude Cooldude is offline
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Question Our festivals & our environment

We Indians celebrate all festivals with maximized pomp & glory. Be it Deepavali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi, Dusserra or Gokulashtami. Does anyone stop to realize its effect on our environment??
During Ganesh Chatruthi, Ganesh Idols of varying sizes from small to gigantic ones are immersed all over the countryís lakes, rivers & in the sea. Zealous devotees express their undying devotion to god this manner.

Now letís talk about the environment, which God doesnít come to help us with. The materials used in the making of these idols include Clay, Plaster of Paris, harmful & toxic paints, dyes & other chemicals including mercury, lead and Cadmium. Upon immersion, these materials either dissolve with water or settle at the bottom bed of the lakes & rivers invariably effecting the ecosystem below. Underwater flora & fauna get impaired due to depletion of dissolved oxygen resulting in severe putrefaction and generation of bad odour. Marine creatures gradually lose their habitat & slowly die. Itís common to see dead fishes washed ashore in beaches & dead fishes floating in ponds & lakes after these immersions.

Our environment pays this price for every Ganesh Devotee in this country to satisfy his avid endeavour to please the gods.

Environmentalists have been crying out hoarse to our politicians in vain to stop this gross abuse of the environment.

http://web.mid-day.com/metro/borival...mber/32012.htm

I read the last Saturday news about the Officials at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Bombay losing out & backtracking on their proposal to ban immersion of Ganesh idols inside the Park after political parties threatened to intensify their agitation against this order. Why donít these politicians understand that no one stands to benefit with this ban on immersions?? For Heavenís sakeÖ.Itís for our environment!!

http://web.mid-day.com/metro/borivli...gust/90552.htm

Whatís important?? An ecologically well maintained lake or our rich Hindu tradition & culture which dictates that this ritual should be dutifully followed??

Every year during Ganesh Visarjan, all roads in Bombay leading towards the beach & lakes are choked up with trucks & vehicles carrying idols for immersion. Every procession has Mandal devotees dancing & cheering along the roads as the vehicles move at snail pace to their destinations. No one can travel out at this time be it case of emergency or any other need. Are all such practices in any way beneficial to the growth of our nation??

It would be really worthwhile if our leaders & politicians inculcate in the minds of our people that there are more important things in everybodyís life and for the country to be done than showing your devotion for god by these means. I am not talking about abandoning these practices, but restricting our religious beliefs to levels, which would be helpful to all mankind & our environment.
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Last edited by Cooldude; August 26th, 2004 at 07:12 AM.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 07:07 AM
Cooldude Cooldude is offline
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After Immersion

.
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  #3  
Old August 26th, 2004, 07:47 AM
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no, not many think about the environmental problems caused by these festivals. but what the hell- if dubya can emit 25% of the worlds noxious gases into the atmosphere, refuse to sign the kyoto agreement and stick two finges up at the rest of the world, what chance do we poor indians have?
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Old September 21st, 2004, 09:18 AM
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Thumbs up Finally

Yaar Vakil,
Who cares about Dubya.... Even his predecessors never agreed to sign any such protocols. The US would always lead over other countries as the gross emitter of green house gases leading to the depletion of the ozone layer.

My concern is about the damage caused by our own countrymen to our environment.

Anyway.... Seems like some individuals have taken the right initiative in spreading awareness among people here about the effects of using harmful materials in making Ganesha idols.

http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/sep/21spec.htm

I appreciate the efforts taken by this Dr. Joshi in encouraging people to use eco-friendly materials in making idols.

However such efforts are just a drop in the bucket. More needs to be done, if we have to save our fragile environment from any further damage...
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Old September 21st, 2004, 04:17 PM
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nyce thread cooldude..

its high tyme they started thinkin bout this stuff..

and yes,maintaining tha flora & fauna r obvisouly mo imp if they (political parties) want India to be liveable and if they want ta continue breathing to indulge in they dirrty politics
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 06:26 AM
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I was thinking about this a couple of nights ago when the ceremony was being shown on TV. Maybe the govt can set up a clean up act. After the ceremony is done, the govt sponsored divers can retrieve the idols in the dead of the night. That way no one's sensibilities get hurt and the affect on the environment is reduced.
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 06:47 AM
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unfortunately, in their quest to adjust the balance of payments governments completely ignore the environment. ours is no exception. after a long time we are have a surplus on foreign currency reserves.

now, who the hell is going to spend part of this on removing idols from rivers?

there should be a law that anything thrown in rivers on these festivals should be bio degradable and not painted with toxic paints but who would listen? who would spend valuable parliament time debating such issues which are very important but politically seen as lightweight issues?

it will take some time for environmental issues to come to the fore in indian politics and until then people like us will just have to grin and bear it.

and even join in with our fireworks on diwali
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 07:02 AM
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I know that my relatives in Banglore dont buy the painted ganesh because they cannot immerse it in a nearby lake, as I think the local goverment has banned immersing such idols to avoid polluting the lake.
So the market there had these pure clay ganesh idols, which are environment friendly.
Some of them immerse these clay idols in small containers after 5 or 7 days, and dispose it in their gardens.
City culture, sometimes beneficial
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 07:24 AM
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I think Why don't they have a alternative solution instead of immersing these idols in water .... Why cann't they just dissolve the idol with some solution and rebuild it again with same material.... I am not sure if this is possible to do but anything that keeps environment free from polution...
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 10:00 PM
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Ganesh Chaturthi used to be a private festival, till it was given political colours (for a good reason in those days) by Lokmanya Tilak in early 1900s. Till early 80s Vegetable based dyes were used in painting Idols which were made only of Clay (100% environment friendly)

But off late with the musrooming of organizing committees everywhere and each association trying to outdo each other, the whole festival has degenerated into vulgar display with scant regards to others sensitivities.

First it was all oil and synthetic paints for the idols, second usage of materials other than Clay like plaster of paris simply made sure that the environment is screwed everytime there is a visarjan ceremony.

Last but not the least it is the sheer number of Idols immersed. As per conservative estimates, in the last 20 years the number of associations having a Ganesh Idol has risen 10 folds.

Unfortunately with the likes of VHP etc who are against any regulations I dont see any solution to the problem.
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 11:23 PM
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mere ke dost ney hamare Apt. complex mein Ganpati rakha hai ... aur voh log soch rele hai ki usko kaha visarjan karey ...

they are thinking of doing it in some private lake ... Are you even allowed to that in the US ...
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 01:25 AM
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Diwali in a month

And the air is screwed with all those fire-crackers. Not to mention the damn noise pollution.
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by aby_baby
And the air is screwed with all those fire-crackers. Not to mention the damn noise pollution.
I agree with you AbyÖ. During Diwali, the stench of burnt fire crackers & their deafening sounds linger around in my city. People with asthma & other respiratory disorders suffer.

Like I mentioned earlier, Our religious beliefs have to be restricted to levels that would be beneficial to everything around us including our environment. If we ardently follow such primitive beliefs with politicians giving them their full backing for their own political gains, our environment wonít endure long.

If Womenís Organizations could successfully have a ban imposed on the ancient hindu custom of Sati saying that it is derogatory & unfair for women, Should Environmentalists also have their voices heard??
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by landyaBhai
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mere ke dost ney hamare Apt. complex mein Ganpati rakha hai ... aur voh log soch rele hai ki usko kaha visarjan karey ...

they are thinking of doing it in some private lake ... Are you even allowed to that in the US ...
haan bhai,ab unko bolo US ki bhi aisi hi gaan maarey..
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sometimes I sit and look at life from a different angle,dunno if I m God's child or Satan's angel
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Old September 24th, 2004, 12:04 AM
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Re: You are right

Quote:
Originally posted by Cooldude
If Womenís Organizations could successfully have a ban imposed on the ancient hindu custom of Sati saying that it is derogatory & unfair for women, Should Environmentalists also have their voices heard??
Actually the old ways of celebrating festivals were far more eco-friendly. These modern methods are the cause of all trouble.

Nobody burst crackers for diwali 100 years ago. Yes there were lamps, sweets etc. which can be followed even today without any problems to anybody. In my view the crackers should be banned and all celebrations limited to fireworks, which dont cause any noise pollution.

Similarly Ganesh Chaturthi was a private festival 100 years ago with people using clay idols (no sarvajanik ganesh mandalis creating all nuisance, worst being vulgar film songs being played at full blast). If we revert back to the same old way of celebrating againg we will do the environment a great favour.
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