After two years of relatively subdued celebration, Goans are set to welcome Lord Ganesha into their homes. For the next nine days, Goa will be enveloped in the spirit of festivity and joy in this celebration of unity and togetherness.
This year, the Chaturthi Tithi of Shukla Paksha in the Bhadrapada month falls on August 31 as per the Gregorian calendar.
On this auspicious occasion, Herald wishes all its esteemed readers, our community of health workers and doctors, whose tireless efforts have allowed us to celebrate the festival like before, and members of the police forces, many of whom will be forsaking their festival to keep us protected and safe, social workers, activists, people’s representatives at every level, from the panchayat to the Parliament- MLAs
Herald also wishes its advertisers, associates, business colleagues, and its entire family on this auspicious occasion.
Ganesh Chaturthi is an embodiment of togetherness. It’s the coming together of our families. And in this, we must include the larger family of all in Goa, cutting across all lines.
It is also perhaps a good time to remember the role played by Bal Gangadhar Tilak to propel Ganesh Chaturthi into a festival of unification among all castes through joint community celebrations.
It is time for another prayer to Lord Ganesha, to make Ganesh Chaturthi a festival that removes any trace of communal divide. For a truly unified society, casteism and communalism should both go. We pray to Lord Ganesha that people who are elected to serve the people of Goa at every level are bestowed with the will to ensure that in words, statements or actions, there is not a semblance of hurt caused to any community.
At the same time, we must pray for credible and good people representatives and leaders who can unite Goa and ensure the welfare of the people. Let us pray for leaders who remove tears from our eyes and fear from our hearts.
Today we must pray to the Lord that we do not use the past to hurt and divide and use the present and the future to unite. And it is particularly important for those who have been chosen to be the representatives of people to be careful in their choice of words and the display of their supposed knowledge of history. Our prayers must be to avoid any such words about the past which are irrelevant and hurtful and pray for the unification of people and healing for all the losses people have faced, personally, commercially, or in any other manner.
We must all pray that a good strong social fabric wrapped in the gentle ribbon of harmony is what Goa should always have with the blessings of Lord Ganesh.
It is also the right time to reflect on the struggles of the last two years. Many families are still in mourning, for many this will be the first Ganesh without loved ones who have passed on. The scars of personal loss take time to heal. May this festival be a time when we pray for hidden and not-so-hidden scars in the lives of people across faiths and communities, to heal.
For those who face faced livelihood losses like the destruction of crops and fields, losses due to no fish caught, or losses due to floods or any economic downturns, let this festival be the time when there is an upturn in their fortunes when they are compensated for their losses, either due to a natural community or due to manmade disasters like the flooding of fields or the cutting of trees for “developmental” projects.
Above all, we pray that everyone in the land lives and prospers as one, and all faiths work as unifying factors for the greater good of humanity, rising above petty politics and vested interests.