By Keyur Seta
One day while in heaven Balgangadhar Tilak aka Lokmanya Tilak decides to go for a short trip on earth for few days. He chose Mumbai since the city is special for him. He had carried out a number of agitations against the British in this city. After biding adieu to his close companion named XYZ in heaven, Tilak leaves for Mumbai.
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However, much to the bewilderment of XYZ, Tilak returns after just a few minutes. A worried XYZ asks him, “What happened Tilak saheb? Why did you return so early?”
Bal Gangadhar Tilak
“I returned back as I couldn’t bear what was going on in Mumbai,” answers Tilak.
“What was going on?”
“People of my beloved city were behaving in crazy, wild manner. It was just too shocking for me to bear.”
“Please tell me exactly what happened Tilak Saheb.”
“Some people were playing drums and other musical instruments in the cruelest manner. It was impossible to stand the nasty, ear-splitting noise! At another place, I could hear some vulgar songs which were even enjoyed by all. Traffic was being halted. Loud crackers were being busted carelessly!”
“Oh! That’s weird.”
Tilak continues, “The weirdest part is yet to come my friend. Some hooligans were openly hurling abuses after getting drunk. Worse, they were sexually harassing women and showering obscene comments on them!”
“This is ridiculous! What has happened to the people of Mumbai?”
“I am asking myself the same thing again and again,” Tilak says and sits down on a chair in a helpless manner.
Noticing his grief, XYZ says, “Just calm down Tilak saheb. I can understand your feeling.”
Tilak looks up and says, “No, you can’t understand. You know why?”
XYZ is silent. Tilak continues, “People’s antics which I mentioned just now were a part of Ganeshotsav, a festival which I had made popular!”
“What are you saying??” exclaims XYZ
“Yes my friend! I motivated the people to make this festival a public event in order to show our strength to the British. But this is what they have reduced the festival to now!”
Tilak continues, “There was a time when I used to be excited for Ganeshotsav. But from today, I have decided never to visit my beloved city again during this festival!”
Hence, the person who popularized this festival, has now nothing to do with it.
(Photo source – mumbaichaganpati.blogspot.in)