Ganesh Mahotsav celebrations at Maharashtra Hitkari Mandal on Monday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The joyful chant of Ganapati Bappa Morya completes 100 years in Jamshedpur.
The grand Ganesh Puja in Kadma may hog the limelight for its dazzling fair, but it is its older cousin in Bistupur that is quietly stealing the show as a centurion.
Maharashtra Hitkari Mandal, the Jamshedpur outfit of the community, is celebrating 100 years of Ganesh Mahotsav in 2013.
On Sunday, members of the community took out a procession from Bistupur police station to the outfit’s office in the same locality on K Road to mark the centenary celebrations.
Men, women and children welcomed Lord Ganesha, considered a revered guest in every Maharashtrian family.
“We are celebrating the centenary year of Ganesh Mahotsav. The puja was started in 1913 by a handful of Maharashtrians who came to Jamshedpur as employees of Tata Steel. Then it became an annual event,” said Ravindra Sathaye, vice-president of the outfit.
The 150-member outfit has a long itinerary for the 10-day festivity.
Theatre groups from Indore and Pune will be performing on September 12 and 13. This apart, a host of local performers will take the stage during the celebrations.
Speaking on the history of the puja, Sathaye said that the puja first took place at a residence at G Town, Bistupur, three years before the outfit was born.
Maharashtra Hitkari Mandal was officially constituted in 1916.
Before the outfit was allotted an office on Q. Road in 1920, the puja was organised at the house of one or the other of its members. Later, the outfit shifted to its current location on K Road, where the puja is organised now.
“We treat Lord Ganesha as a guest at home and it is necessary for every Maharashtrian to perform Ganesh sthapana at home. However, the great patriot Lokmanya Tilak had made the festival public. Accordingly, the community here too started celebrating it together,” said Sathaye.