Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the Father of Indian Unrest, mobilised people through public Ganesh Utsav which was until then confined to the homes of the people and palaces of Maharajas. Hindus came together for the festival which became a source of political awakening against the British regime.

At the crucial juncture of India s history when the nation indeed was under the yoke of slavery of the British, Lokmanya Tilak, who proclaimed "Swarajya is my birth-right and I ll have it" realising the importance of the massive popularity of this festival initiated its nationwide celebrations in 1893. Then it became a platform for political awakening and uprising among people to gain freedom from British imperialism. Ganesh Festival thus played a very important role in our Freedom Struggle.
   
ganesha1.jpgCastes and creeds were forgotten as people organised the festivals with great enthusiasm. Mandals or organisations of people in every locality came into being to organise the annual event with fanfare. After Independence in 1947, these Mandals continued to celebrate the festival with vigour and devotion. Political overtones of pre-Independence era were replaced by activities for social good. Pune Mandals, some of them established way back in the last decade of the 19th century, continued to remain in the forefront in their social outlook. Mandals in Mumbai and other towns of Maharashtra have kept the spirit of festivity and sense of commitment to the society. They organise daily events during the ten days of Ganesh Festival.

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