Report and Pics: Dr Eugene D’Souza, Dombivli
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai (GA)
Mumbai, Mar 27: This year March 27 is being celebrated as the beginning of the new year among the Hindus in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Karnataka, where it is known as ‘Ugadi’. Gudi Padva is considered as one of the four most auspicious days in the year when people start new ventures. It is believed that Lord Brahma created the world on this day and so he is worshipped especially on this day. Lord Vishnu too is said to have been incarnated as Matsya (fish) on this day. A ‘gudi’ (banner) with a swastika-marked pot and silk cloth is raised to announce victory and joy. In Maharashtra this day is a reminder of the valiant Marathas returning home from their successful conquering expeditions of war.
As in previous years, the city of Dombivli geared itself to witness one of the most colourful, enthusiastic and messages filled processions. The procession also known as the ‘Shobha Yatra’ started at around 7 am from the Bhagshala Maidan in Dombivli (West) and proceeded through the streets of the city to enthusiastic welcome of thousands of people.
Women in varieties of saris, men in traditional attire and children in school uniforms added colour, gaiety and pomp to the ‘Shobha Yatra’. Adults as well as children dressed up in historical characters such as Shivaji and Rani of Jhansi were the added attraction of the procession.
A number of religious, cultural and social organizations as well as schools and sports clubs participated in the procession with floats and banners giving out appropriate messages to the onlookers. The school children carried banners against corruption, illiteracy and cruelty against animals and the need to promote national unity. Being the election years, there were banners exhorting the people to register their names in voters list and participate in the electoral process. Spiritual ‘gurus’ were not far behind in promoting their respective brand of spirituality. One banner promoting environmental awareness prominently displayed the 3-D effects of Global Warming: Danger, Destruction, Death and advised the people to “Go Green and Live Green”. Even a group of software engineers carried banners making the people aware of the need to protect their PCs from viruses and hackers.
The organizers of the Gudi Padva “Shobha Yatra” did not forget the heroes of the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Two young boys dressed in army fatigues carried the banner embossed with the pictures of the martyrs-Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar. Moreover, three youngsters dressed in army, navy and air force uniforms rode atop a truck.