HYDERABAD: From Baahubali to Kargil hero, Ganesha idols in the city have been there and done it all. And this year, keeping with the trend of gau rakshaks, the idols bear a political statement in the form of cow companions featured with Ganesha idols.
A walk down the lanes of Dhoolpet, the hub of Ganesha idol-makers, renders the ‘theme’ of this Ganesh Chaturthi evident. Several idols are flanked by cows and bulls. What has led to this sudden increase in the number of bovine idols? Idol maker Vir Singh says he follows the simple rule of demand and supply. “There has been a demand for idols of cows and calves this year. So, the market is flooded with them,” he says.
The question, however, is why the demands have surged. Chairman of the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samiti Shingari Sudarshan says, “We have included the idols of as many as three cows this year (with the Khairatabad Ganesha). There is one on the right side of the idol and two others are on the top, near the shoulders of Lord Ganesha. This is a conscious effort on our part to promote the message of protecting cows.” He refuses to comment on whether there is a political undertone to this, though he does acknowledge that the deity is the new mascot of cow vigilantes.
Interestingly, it is not only the pooja committees that are making a beeline for Ganeshas flanked by cows. Mini idols meant for homes are also seen sitting atop cows or bulls. Devotees purchasing these idols feel that their act would add to their good deeds.
“As Hindus, we should protect cows as we consider them holy. Promoting it by the way of these idols is indeed a novel deed,” says Rohith, a devotee, while going through idols displayed at Dhoolpet.