Vijayapura: The call given by several pro-Hindu activists including Rashtriya Hindu Sena President Pramod Muthalik to display picture of Hindu icon V. D. Savarkar next to the Ganesha idol during the ongoing Ganesha Chaturthi festival seems to have not made significant impact. This became evident from the fact that many pandals of the City which have kept the idol of Ganesha do not feature the picture of Savarkar.
Except a handful of Pandals, majority of them have stayed away from placing picture of Savarkar.
It may be noted that the members of Sri Rama Sene had said that they would distribute over 250 photos of Savarkar in order to display them inside Ganesha Pandals during a week-long festival across the District. However, most of the organisers have not displayed the photos of any prominent persons including Savarkar in the pandals.
Over 200 Ganesha Idols at prominent Pandals have been kept in public places in the city. Among them merely ten to fifteen organisers have put up the photos of Savarkar and remaining have distanced themselves from this.
One of the organisers of Pandal who dis not wish to be identified said that they have been putting Pandal and bringing Ganesha idols for the last about three decades where they place no other picture or idol than that of Ganesha. “We have been celebrating the festival for the past three decade in our locality. We have never put up any photos except God’s inside the pandal. In our committee there are people from all the communities and ideologies. We decided not to put Savarkar’s photo because there are chances of hurting the sentiments of other people in the committee.”
“This festival is celebrated publicly as our ancestors started this festival to bring unity among people during the freedom struggle. We want to continue the celebration for the same cause. We will not entertain the people who come up with an agenda that creates nuisance in the society. It might also disturb peace and law and order. We will not display any photos other than of Gods and Goddess,” he said.
Neelkant, the District President of Srirama Sene, said that they have reached maximum people with this drive.
“I know a section of people are trying to portray our campaign as a failure but we have succeeded in our objective. Even a workshop was held for the organisers of Ganesha Festival to educate them about the reason behind displaying Savarkar’s photos in Ganesha Pandals,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, the Police Department had ordered the organisers to take permission from the District Police before displaying photos of any freedom fighters or prominent personalities inside the pandals.
Superintendent of Police H. D. Anand Kumar, said that, “We have not received any kind of applications from the organisers seeking permission to display the photos inside pandals. We have tightened the security across the District. No untoward incident has been reported.”