‘The water body is purified after the immersion of the Ganesh idol in it. Hence, the idol shouldn’t be immersed in artificial tanks, but in flowing water.’ This is what the controversial Sanatan Sanstha is preaching to its followers.
Sanstha officials claim the remains in the artificial tanks are dumped into the river or sea, which leads to pollution anyway. File pic for representation
The Sanstha, one of whose followers, Samir Gaikwad, has been arrested for allegedly killing veteran Left leader and rationalist Comrade Govind Pansare, claims that Hindu shastra says that Ganesh idols should be immersed only in flowing water. They also claim that they have proof to show that the idols do not pollute water bodies.
The Sanatan Sanstha’s Facebook page, which says that the idol should be immersed in flowing water
Environment-alists claim otherwise. The Sanstha, on its website and Facebook page, said on September 17, ‘Because of the regular prayers offered to the Ganesh idol, the idol turns pure, and hence when this idol is immersed in the water body, the water becomes pure too. Because of the flowing water in the water body, the purity of the idol also flows to several places.’
To explain this, they had also held a press conference on Ganesh Chaturthi a few days ago. Abhay Vartak, an office bearer of the Sanstha said, “Our Sanstha says that immersion of Ganesh idols shouldn’t be done in artificial tanks, because artificial tank immersion is a scam.
They later go and dump the remains in the artificial tanks into the river or sea, which leads to the same pollution that they are talking about. We believe that Ganesh idols do not lead to any pollution. We even have documents to prove this.” “We completely believe that that Ganesh idols should be immersed as per the Hindu shastras and hence the immersion should be done only in flowing water not in an artificial tank,” he further added.
Meanwhile environmentalists working in the eco-Ganesh field claim that Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols are in no way good for the sea and marine creatures. “PoP contains lime, sulphate and other chemicals, which are hazardous for the sea, rivers and even for marine creatures.
This is proven too. Hence, for years, we have been campaigning for idols made of clay that are good for the environment, as they are made from fertile clay that is mostly from river beds,” said Elsie Gabriel, founder of the Young Environmentalists’ Programme.