A heated debate has emerged regarding the choice of venue for the upcoming Ganapati Utsav celebrations in Mangalore. The traditional practice of celebrating this revered festival at the Mangalore Auditorium of Mangalore University is now under scrutiny, raising concerns among various stakeholders.
Coastal MPs, MLAs, and former members of the Syndicate recently convened and made a formal request to Governor Thawarchand Gehlot at Raj Bhavan. They urged that the Ganesh Festival, scheduled for the 19th, be permitted to take place at the Mangala Hall.
However, during the Syndicate meeting held on the 20th of 2022, a lengthy deliberation led to a decision to relocate the Ganeshotsav celebration to the Student Welfare Directorate. This decision has sparked controversy as it is believed by some that shifting the venue from the Mangala Auditorium to an alternative location could potentially hurt the sentiments of devotees.
Prominent figures, including MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, D.K. and Udupi District MLAs Sunil Kumar, Vedavyas Kamath, Dr. Y. Bharat Shetty, Harish Poonja, Bhagirathi Murulya, Gurme Suresh Shetty, and former syndicate member Ramesh K., were part of the delegation that presented the request to the Governor.
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In their petition, they strongly condemned the impression that society is receiving, indicating a lack of funds for Ganeshotsavam, which is traditionally financed through the cultural fund contributed by students every year.
The controversy continues to simmer as the community grapples with the decision to change the celebration’s historic venue.