TIRUNELVELI: Hindu outfits like Hindu Munnani (HM) in Tirunelveli district plan to keep more Vinayagar idols in public during this year's Ganesh Chathurthi festival falling on September 2, while parties like the CPI(M) want the district administration to reduce the number of idols kept in public places as they fear that this could cause communal tension.
“We are not against individuals devotees, but demand a reduction in the number of idols of Lord Ganesha at least in places that witnessed communal riots in the previous years,” said K G Baskaran, Tirunelveli district secretary of the CPI(M).
Following public apprehension about communal tension, the district administration has restricted the total number of idols kept in public places to 500. Some outfits have put up Vinayagar idols without prior permission. “Such things should be strictly restricted this year,” said the CPI(M) district secretary, who also appealed to people to have their own idols in their homes, take them for immersion, and boycott the fringe elements whose prime motive is to show off their strength.
An all-party meeting was convened by the CPI(M) in this regard at Tenkasi that witnessed a clash in which ten persons were injured including a police inspector and around 300 two-wheelers and few cars were damaged. Hence, the district administration too has announced that Ganesh idols kept in unapproved spots will be removed.
The administration has also advised the organisers not to put up idols above 10-ft high in public places. Tirunelveli district collector Ms. Shipha Prabakar Satish said in a statement that Ganesh idols kept in public should be taken for immersion at the stipulated spots within five days of installation and the procession should go strictly through the path permitted by officials. The district administration has earmarked 22 places in the district for immersion of clay idols of Lord Ganesh.
The Hindu Munnani, however, stated that they would abide by the rules, but demanded permission to put up more Ganesh idols as disallowing devotees from upholding their faith is against the fundamental rights ensured by our Constitution. “We plan to keep as many Ganesh idols as possible this year,” said Jeyakumar, vice president of HM district unit. ENDS....