Festivals WERE a boon!
"How can be a festival not be helpful to the society, to the people?" This would surely be your first reaction after reading the title. Okay, tell me the major festivals celebrated in India with great honour and blast. "Diwali, holi, navratri.." As you named these so you would be knowing some basic history of all these festivals. Diwali is associated with Lord Rama's return from exile. Holi, garba ras was played by Lord Krishna; while Ganesh chaturthi was introduced by a social leader and freedom fighter, Lokmanya Tilak. Have you ever wondered why do you celebrate these festivals with so much enthusiasm? "Just because they are meant for that. Fests are fir us, for people, to bring us together."
Very well, but the common part in all the festivals is one. THE LORD. Named differently everywhere, but its the lord, the faith, the hunger of your wishes that you have so much of blind faith in him and not in yourself that you celebrate festivals so joyfully without even looking in your surroundings. Do you know, more than half of the population of India is poor. They are suffering from poverty. "Suffering from poverty? I am celebrating my DIWALI, what it has to do with them?"
Well, I visited Mumbai during the time of Ganpati utsav, and it was the scene after visarjan that made me cry and wonder about the foolishness of people. I had heard many such beautiful things about Ganesh festival celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm in Mumbai, the Lalbaugh Ganesh idol, it was all that charm that took me there. There I was standing on the beach and saw some poor children searching for food, the chadhava and prasad, the fruits, the sweets which were lying in the sand. The murti broken into pieces lying there and people stepping by not even wondering where they are walking! Was Ganesh idol to be worshipped only till visarjan?
The poor population that I said earlirr, were the only ones that made murtis but later they were the ones who had to sleep emty-stomached. The small children who made fire crackers are the only ones who never get this chance of celebrating diwali! We play holi with so called unlimited of water and there they are who don't get even few drops of fulfilling their thirst! The milk we pour on the stone shivling, for our blind faith, will the stone drink it? Since years, these traditions, faiths, festivals on the name of lord are celebrated and followed but what we need to understand that the situation isn't the same now as it was before 50 years. We don't need to stop following it, but opening our eyes wider and looking for a better way to make this mankind survive. Because ultimately,'God lies in the soul and not in the stone.'