Amid Rising Restrictions, Ganesha idols Fail to Pull Devotees
By Express News Service | Published: 29th August 2014 06:00 AM |
CHENNAI: With sale of Vinayaka idols dipping this year, artisans, shopkeepers and retailers have put the blame on the restrictions imposed by various enforcement agencies.
“There are not may buyers and sales had hit a low when compared to last year,” says Karthikeyan, a retailers at Kosapet Market. “I purchased 80 idols as in the past, but most of them are still on the stall unlike last year. This is primarily due to the confusion over the restrictions by various enforcement agencies in issuing permission etc. People do not want to go through the tedious process to obtain a licence. All the 10 to 11 feet Ganesha idols have failed to attract buyers. This year only small idols were sold” he added.
Gomathi, a retailer on a pavement near Naduvankarai said over the last two days she could sell only 11 pieces out of 50. “With mere hours to go before Vinayaga Chathurthi, the demand for the budget, zclay pillaiyars has been dismal. In the previous 3 years, the trend was different and a lot of people opted to buy these over the synthetic Plaster of Paris idols. But I do not know what happened this year,” she said while trying to canvass a few passersby.
Even the normally busy ‘market streets’ in Vadapalani and Aminjikarai, which attract a huge crowd for last minute purchase of palm leaves, rice pori, jaggery, fruits and even Pillaiyar idols, witnessed an unusually low turn out. Arumugam from vadapalani market said “Sales aren’t as good this year. This year, out of the 1500 pieces, only 300 were sold.”
According to Kamala in Virugambakkam only 50 out of the 300 pieces were sold till Thursday and people were not showing interest in bigger clay idols. However, police said like last year this year too permission was given to 1,850 points to install the idols with the procession allowed only on the permitted route.