Janmashtami message lost?

Janmashtami or Gokulasthami or Dahi handi as popularly called is a festival celebrated to commemorate the birth of Krishna at night, and his immediate removal by his father to a foster-home for safe-keeping from his evil uncle.

Lately in Mumbai the once pious fest has so radically commercialized that it has become a slug fest between politicians of all parties including congress ncp and sena on one hand, putting up atrocious sums for nearly impossible handis raised to heights well over 40 feet and on the other between the Govinda Pathaks which go from one major prize winning handi to another.

While members of larger well organised groups are better trained, practiced and insured, some of the members of the smaller phataks indulge in heavy drinking just to kill their fear. Not only that – there are always reports of people in hospital with broken bones and a few deaths on the next day.

It is saddening to observe that it is no more about the festival but more about prize money. Somehow things have changed now as it is more like a matka or jackpot as the govindas first check what is in the pot (i mean the cash incentive) before even bothering to break it, a custom unheard of in my childhood.


4 thoughts on “Janmashtami message lost?

  1. A lot of traditions have lost their meaning in the blind race of commercialization and politics. In my childhood I never heard of ready made rangoli or a temple offering special aarti for those who pay extra or politicians asking to kill in the name of religion.

  2. It is really sad that all our festivals are being commercialised. Diwali is worst. Nobody is able to enjoy it in the traditional way. It is all about bribing the powerful and influential now. The traditional cards sessions are also used for bribing the imporatant and well connected.
    Happy Janmashtmi.

  3. prerna
    nowadays the rich have forgotten to donate and become a selfish lot they burn their black money in the name of diwali and other festivals
    instead of making hospitals and schools like the old school would

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