Will Govinda Pathaks show their pyramids this Janmashtami?

Updated: Aug 21, 2019, 09:47 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

With several biggies withdrawing their Dahi Handi celebrations to support flood victims, Govinda groups say they can't let two months of hard work go to waste

Will Govinda Pathaks show their pyramids this Janmashtami?
Dahi Handi mandals have said they have been practising for more than two months

While Dahi Handi is among the most looked-forward-to festive days in the year in Maharashtra, this year a question hangs over whether Govinda Pathaks will be able to show off their pyramids or not. Organisers, mostly politicians, had said they would cancel the festivities in light of floods across the state.

With just a few days to go before Dahi Handi, a desperate coordinating committee, Dahi Handi Samanvay Samiti, has urged organisers to allow the event to go ahead, even if on a smaller scale, as mandals have been practising for the day for months.

The festival has been mired in controversy for the last few years as being hauled to court over various things such as heights of the human pyramids and the minimum age of participants, etc. Just as it had all been settling down, the flood that affected Kolhapur and Sangli has become a reason for organisers to call off the boisterous festivities.

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The Samanvay Samiti is a coordinator between the authorities, organisers and Govinda Pathaks. The committee claimed that with an eye on the elections, the Govindas started practising two months ago.

Bala Padelkar, chairman of the committee, said, "We are requesting the organisers to keep the spirit of the festival alive and at least organise the events and not cancel them as the Govindas have been practising for months."

Dahi handi
The festivities were cancelled by organisers (most of whom are politicians) in view of the floods in western Maharashtra

Last year, after the controversy that gripped BJP MLA Ram Kadam who had stated during the Dahi Handi festival that he would kidnapping women who rejected marriage proposals of the men who sought his help, one of the committee members alleged it was the reason he had called it off this year as many women Govinda Pathaks were unlikely to participate in his Dahi Handi.

Geeta Zagde, secretary of the committee, said, "Recently, Ram Kadam urged the Dahi Handi event organisers to not hold the event and help the flood affected people. Our sympathies, too, are towards the flood affected people and we all can contribute towards helping them, but why ask mandals to cancel the event. The festival should be celebrated even if low key. We have practised for many months. Also, it is clear Kadam is doing this because of the controversy last year." Ram Kadam was not available for comment.

Respect tradition

With Worli seeing its Dahi Handi event organised by Sunil Shinde, Sena MLA, instead of Sachin Ahir, who was with the NCP earlier, Shinde said, "It is tradition and we don't want to disturb the spirit of the festival by cancelling it but the majority of the funds help will go towards flood victims."

For example, "if a cash prize of Rs 5,000 was given earlier to a pathak, this year we will give half as the other half will be contributed for the victims."

Aug 24
Day when Dahi Handi will be celebrated this year

20 ft
Height limit for pyramids set by SC in 2016

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Top 10 Bollywood songs you should listen to on Dahi Handi
  • 1/10

    Kanha Soja Jara (Baahubali: The Conclusion): Well, Janmashtami celebration is surely not complete without this one! Don't you agree?

  • 2/10

    Go Govinda (Oh My God): The item number in the Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal-starrer had Sonakshi Sinha trying to match steps with ace dancer Prabhudheva.

  • 3/10

    Chandi Ki Daal Par (Hello Brother): Salman Khan was in his element for this song, both as a singer and performer.

  • 4/10

    Govinda Aala Re Aala (Bluff Master): This is the ultimate Govinda song in Bollywood. Shammi Kapoor's groovy moves and catchy music by Kalyanji Anandji captured the spirit of the festival in the best possible way.

  • 5/10

    Mach Gaya Shor (Khuddar): Amitabh Bachchan's tribute to the festival, the song has Big B enjoying himself to the fullest, and the joy can be experienced by the viewers as well.

  • 6/10

    Teen Batti Wala Govinda Aala (Muqabla): This 1979 flick had Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi joining forces, and the result was a peppy tribute to Lord Krishna.

  • 7/10

    Ala re Govinda (Kala Bazar): The film starring Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff once again brought to the fore the fun element of the festival.

  • 8/10

    Mohe Chedo Na (Lamhe): This song is a dedication to the sacred Radha-Krishna relationship. The film featured Anil Kapoor and Sridevi.

  • 9/10

    Har Taraf Hai Ye Shor Aaya Gokul Ka Chor (Vaastav): In recent times, Sanjay Dutt's portrayal of breaking the dahi handi has been most memorable. The music is foot-tapping and the festive occasion is captured in an apt manner.

  • 10/10

    Yashomati Maiyya Se Bole Nandlala (Satyam Shivam Sundaram): Even three decades after the film's release, the song remains as fresh as ever, and is played almost every Janmashtami

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