Effects of what we do today are seen long after we are gone.
We so often talk of how social networking or professional networking sites have brought about a change in society. We talk more today using profiles, blogs, message updates, chats etc. But think of how important internet is in there as the underlying platform for this networking.
Seeing Ganpati today, one is compelled to admire the vision of Bal Gangadhar Tilak who started it about 100 years ago in Maharashtra. If we think about it, the occasion of Sarvajanik(Community wide) Ganpati is a form of social networking. In fact, the original form of Social Networking. Even the Ganpati celebration at our homes creates social networking.
Tilak's greatness was in understanding the potential of Ganpati's powers in bringing people together. By placing Ganpati (who has such great public following) at the centre of it all, Tilak ensured that his technique would certainly succeed.
Till date, so many people come together, meet...so many young people start arranging Ganpati Pooja at home. And the best part is, this occasion cuts across generations. Old, young, children all come together in these 10 days.
And yes, congratulations to Police in Mumbai as well who manage it more or less in a disciplined manner. The traffic jams due to processions have come down and most of this is managed by the volunteers of the Ganpati Mandal groups. That is public involvement in preventing domestic issues. I remember the horrendous jams when we were in school...that has changed drastically over last 1 and a half decade.
The only one thing I would like to change about the way this festival is celebrated is the use of noisy musical instruments and those eardrum blowing loudspeakers during the processions. They are unnecessary irritants in this festival.