After mysteriously banning devotees over the age of 13 from coming to their pandal for Ganpati darshan wearing short clothes, the authorities at Azad Nagar Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, popularly known as Andhericha Raja, had put forward a solution for those who landed up without knowing about the ban — a changing room replete with darshan-appropriate clothes into which they could change into.
A day away from the festival however, that plan too appears o have fallen through, and replaced with yet another — the mandal has now promised to allow devotees direct access to the pandal, if they come back wearing ‘decent’ clothes after being turned away in short clothes once.
MiD DAY had reported on the mandal’s promise to arrange for changing rooms and spare clothes for outstation devotees who came to the pandal wearing short clothes, unaware of the mandal’s decree (‘Mandal that banned short clothes blames Poonam Pandey’ September 10).
The plans for the changing room falling through, the mandal will now turn away devotees who land up wearing shorts. Differences between committee members of the mandal forced them to take back their promise.
A source in the mandal said, “The plan for a dressing room, which could have helped devotees, fell through because of conflict between the committee members. There was a set of people in the committee who were completely opposing the idea, as they were of the opinion that no one would opt for a change. They though that time and money would be wasted if the plan was executed.”
Uday Salian, spokesperson for the mandal, said, “Many members thought that no devotee would wear clothes which have already been worn by somebody else. This would lead to a problem during the festival, and to avoid chaos we decided to cancel the plan. But we have worked out a different solution. If the devotees come back properly dressed after being turned away once, we will allow them to enter the pandal without having to stand in queue.”