This is in reference to the media scene in Maharashtra. You see, there’s the Ganpati gusto on in Maharashtra and the whole state is painted red already. Like each year there is a contest of ‘Who has the flashiest, most flamboyant Ganesh idol’. And like every year, the idols keep getting bigger… almost makes me wonder if there’s a Ganesh idol size ceiling. I mean, you can’t keep growing each year, right?Anyway, so when the dust settles, these are the stories you’ll see in the papers:
- After the immersion, most our beaches, lakes and ponds will be full of disposed of garlands and puja trinklets. The idols will give off their oil paint coating and it’ll float up to the surface – environment story!
- There will be a separate one on the chalky paste that is washed up to the shore as the idols dissolve in water.
- To add a dash of green hope, there will be the typical boxed item about some people who decided to go green and use organic materials and paints for their idols. They’ll get the customary thumbs up and the story will end with the pontificating finish beseeching devotees to go green the next time.
Funny thing is, this stable of stories assured, none of the papers every carry a story before the festivities begin on the importance of going soft on the one-up’god’ship! So they patiently wait it out for the idol makers to make the loud idols, for environmentally unconscious devotees to buy the murtis and finally for the ten-day extravaganza to end before actually doing something about it, namely carry the staid ‘post-Ganeshotsav’ stories.Even the local news channels may run these ones on a slow news day. I intended to write a longer version of this and send it to a local paper, but then I realised that that paper was guilty of the same crime I speak of here. The papers don’t surprise me now. Maybe The Hindu does – it’s just consistently good, with the usual editorial hiccup and I can let that be.