This week’s photo challenge is to post a pic on “Community” which means a social unit of any size that shares a common belief or values. Per wikipedia, the word “community” is derived from an Old French word – communité which is derived from the Latin communitas that means – com, “with/together” + munus, “gift”, a broad term for fellowship or organized society. And for this challenge the Mumbaiker in me had to post a pic of the Ganesh Festival that binds entire Mumbai into one large community.
This concept of common festival celebrations was started by Pandit Lokmanya Tilak and helped achieve the ultimate aim then i.e. unity for the Indian freedom struggle and intellectual exchange of ideas, as large political gatherings were prohibited during the British rule. These days, for 10 days in August or September each year, this festival brings the entire city together despite any differences in religion, caste, social standing, etc. Many houses, common societies etc bring the idol of Lord Ganesh, pray to him for those many days and then on the last day immerse him in the sea or any other water body.
In case you want to read more on this festival then please feel free to read these two articles – Photo Essay – The Making of the Ganpati Idols and Celebrating the Indian festival of the Elephant God, Ganesh Chaturthi.