History Of Dagdu Seth Ganapati
The concept of a community Ganesh Festival was introduced to us by one of India's foremost patriot and leading social worker Lokmanya Tilak. The General public was swept away in the splendor and devotion of this 10 day festival which brought in its wake ‘Kirtans', meetings, mela and cultural programme, the echo's of which could be heard in every nook and corner of the city.
This festival led to awareness of the masses through the channels of entertainment. Donations from the public were channelised into religious, cultural and community works. Once the younger generation realised that they could ride the vehicle of the Ganesh Festival to improvement. Scores of youth stepped forward to offer their services.
The community Ganesh Festival as it is celebrated in Maharashtra today has created a history of sorts with its success in multiplying, blossoming and maintaining Maharashtra's culture.
A festival of the Masses: The community Ganesh Festival, first introduced by Lokmanya Tilak has undergone a sea change since its inception. This once strictly homely festival has gained enormous popularity and following. This is evident in the enthusiasm and religious fervor with which it is celebrated. This Festival is distinguished by its diverse novelty drama as well as its links with historic and mythological incidents. This festival brings with it pomp, birght lights, a glimpse into the diverse cultures of India, famous sculptures and palaces.
The decorations depict varied contemporary topics such as ban on dowry, de-addiction, corruption, school, admissions, superstitions etc.
This festival has become a medium to bring to the foremost a wide range of topics and issues that touch and change our lives today. A way to fight against injustice, progress in education and science are just some of the topics highlighted by this festival.
The festival encompasses in its arms unity, vastness, comradeship and patriotism and forwards the cause if the same. The 107 year old Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Festival is the jewel in the crown of Maharashtra's long history of community Ganesh festival. It is distinguished by its endeavour to uphold Maharashtra's cultural heritage. The vastness and splendour with which it is celebrated and its concerted efforts to keep the torch that Lokmanya Tilak lighted, burning bright.
The Ganesh festival acts as an inspiration to scores of youth and is homeground of social work. It acts as the wheel that moulds fresh minds and gives them a certain direction in life. It is a medium that encourages art, sport, religion, culture, and knowledge of history, music and dance. There is a constant effort to ensure that the vulgarity that has become a part of certain community festivals does not touch the Ganesh Festival. Instead impetus is given to creative pursuits and social work. With the grace of Lord Ganesh there has been a positive change in the outlook of the volunteers of this Ganesh festival and it is increasingly becoming a society-oriented festival.