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About 20,000 Ganesha statues likely to be immersed at Hyderabad in September 2016

According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Ganesha is believed to be the God of wisdom and good fortune

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source: newindianexpress.com
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  • Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival and devotees bring idols of Ganesha to their houses and place them on raised platforms in homes
  • On the 11th day, the image is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, to be immersed in a river or the sea
  • In 2016, Hyderabad and Cyberabad jointly will have a hundred thousand Ganesh pandals. And more than 20 feet tall Khairatabad Ganesh statue along with other statues will be immersed on September 15

India doesn’t need any introduction and it is complete in its own way. Apart from unity in diversity that India is proud of, it is also a land of festivals that keeps it alive throughout the year. Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, and others of different faiths and traditions celebrate various festivals during the year. These festivals bring people together and add a new dimension to the daily routine of life. Although most Hindu festivals are religious in nature, they have cultural and regional diversities as well.

However, the essence and spirit of Hindu festivals remain the same throughout te country and anywhere Hindus reside. The festivals teach us to be physically and mentally pure and help people resolving conflicts and bind them together in harmonious living and welfare. Hindu festivals reflect the mind and philosophy if India in various epochs. Hindu festivals also have a deep spiritual meaning and purpose and remind us of the presence of supreme reality, or God.

One of the major festivals in Hinduism is Ganesh Chaturthi. It is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesha on the fourth day of bright fortnight of Bhadrapada month of Hindu calendar (September/ October). Lord Ganesha is the god of wisdom as well as of good fortune. He is believed to be the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

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Legend has it when Shiva was coming back from his samadhi, he didn’t know that Ganesha was his son. Ganesha did not let Shiva enter the house because mother Parvati was bathing. Shiva got angry and cut his head off and went into the house. When Parvati saw Ganesha dead, she cried and told Shiva that Ganesha was his son.

To ease Parvati’s grief, Shiva promised to cut off the head of the first living thing he would see and attach it to Ganesha’s body and that creature was an elephant. Ganesha was thus restored to life and honored his courage by being made the Lord of the new beginnings and guardian of entrances. Ganesha is believed to be the destroyer of obstacles- ‘Vighna Vinashaka‘ and one who makes wishes come true – ‘Siddhi Vinayaka‘. As a granter of boons, Ganesha, the elephant-headed God is propitiated before all the Gods and at the start of any new task.

Large statue of Ganesha on the water, surrounded by people
Ganesh Visarjan, Wikimedia Commons

Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day festival and on the commencement of the festival , devotees bring idols of Ganesha to their houses and place them on the raised platforms in homes. The priest then invokes life into idol amidst the chanting of mantras. This ritual is called pranapratishtha and after this shhodashopachara (16 ways of praying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21 modakas (rice flour preparations), 21 durva (trefoil) grass and flowers are offered to the idol, to make Him happy and seek his blessings. The idol is anointed with red Chandan (sandalwood) and throughout the ritual, Vedic hymns are chanted.

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Devotees sing and dance ecstatically before the idols of Ganesha. On the 11th day, the idols are taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing and later to be immersed in the river or the sea.

Khairatabad's famous ganesh idol
Khairatabad’s famous Ganesh idol, Wikimedia Commons

This year in 2016, Ganesh Chaturthi date falls on September 5. According to hinduismtoday.com Website, Hyderabad and Cyberabad jointly will have a hundred thousand Ganesh pandals, this year and more than 20 feet tall Khairatabad Ganesh statue along with other statues will be immersed on September 15. Samiti secretary R. Shashidhar said, “the number of pandals in the twin cities and Cyberabad will be 100,000. We are expecting more to be set up Khairatabad will have the tallest statue at 58 feet.

“We have asked the organizers to avoid the Metro Rail corridor and accept the state government plan to decentralize the immersion process with special enclosures for immersion at 10 lakes in the city including Hussainsagar.” Besides, HMDA (Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority) has purchased a US$445 million machine to take out the statues once they are immersed.

–  prepared by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117

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  • AJ Krish

    Festivals in India are really expressive . Crackers, sweets ,and lightnings add to grandeur of the festivals. Everyone comes together for these events, especially during Ganesh Chaturti.

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

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The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

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In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

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“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)