Mandal themes: most of them stale, rehashed
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Many Ganesh mandals in Pimpri-Chinchwad have rewinded to the past using themes repeated year after year to decorate their pandals and at least two pandals have delved into the epics for inspiration, highlighting Ram Rajya as the panacea to end social evil. Few mandals came up with innovative themes.
A large number of mandals have the oft-repeated themes of female foeticide, dowry and corruption, while some are banking on size and have huge idols and grand structures to attract crowds.
In Akurdi, the Tarun Mitra Mandal headed by PCMC Standing Committee chairman Jagdish Shetty has a mammoth Hanuman idol. "The mace and the mountain Lord Hanuman holds are special attractions," said Shetty. The Siddhivinayak Mandal, Kiwale has a 14-foot idol of Shri Lalbagcha Raja. The Jaihind Tarun Mandal in Kasarwadi has a 15-foot Ganesh idol. In Dapodi, the Vithal Mandal has erected an illuminated palace made of cloth, while the Hindvi Mandal has a palace made of thermocol. The Landge Limbachi Talim Mandal in Bhosari gaothan- corporator Nitin Landge is its president- has a grand temple as decoration. Mandal members are proud they set up the structure without digging or damaging the road. The Jai Maharashtra Mandal has a replica of the Akshardham temple in Delhi.
Girish Nair is the mandal president.
The Zero Boys Pratishthan in Masulkar Colony has used 18 idols to present 'Khanderayacha Jagran.' The Gajanan Mandal in Pimpri Camp focuses on 'Hanuman Uddhan'. At Bhel Chowk, Pradhikaran, the Omsai Mandal has a Lord Balaji idol. At Mahalsakant Chowk, the Jaihind Mitra Mandal of Pradhikaran - Rajesh Phalke is the mandal president - has 'Praylakari Tandav', the dance of Lord Shiva. The Shri Duttwadi Tarun Mandal, Duttwadi has 'Shankaracha Virbhadra Avtaar' (Lord Shankar's avtar).
The Jai Hanuman Krida Mandal and the Shivray Mandal, Akurdi stresses the return of 'Ram Rajya'. The mandal members said people fed up with growing evil in society would be happy if Lord Ram's era returned. The Navnath Mandal, Akurdi- Mahesh Datir is the mandal president - highlights corruption and Anna Hazare's fight, which was the theme of many mandals last year. The decoration is called, 'Fakt Ladh Mahana.'