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Updated: September 15, 2013 11:55 IST

Chennai's silver Ganesha immersed in sea

D. Madhavan
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The idol was said to be made of 19 kg of silver, and cost around Rs. 10 lakh. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
The Hindu
The idol was said to be made of 19 kg of silver, and cost around Rs. 10 lakh. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Police raise doubts over authenticity of idol, say it may be made of iron coated with silver

Ending a week’s suspense over the fate of a silver Ganesha in Pulianthope, residents immersed the idol in the sea on Saturday.

But the police were not quite ready to believe that devotional fervour was behind the residents’ determination to go ahead with the immersion. The idol may not have been made of silver, after all, they said. It could have been made of iron but coated with silver.

“We asked them to install the idol in a temple but they did not agree,” said a senior police officer.

Also, none of the policemen guarding the idol over the past week were allowed to lift it or verify its authenticity. A heavy idol would have been a dead giveaway, the police said.

According to organisers at the Ganesha pandal in Pulianthope, the idol was made of 19 kg of silver and cost around Rs. 10 lakh.

Around 1.45 p.m. on Saturday, residents took out a procession that began at Prakash Rao Colony and passed through Pulianthope, Haj Buildings, Nataraja theatre junction, Perambur Barracks Road, Mint, Wall Tax Road, Royapuram and ended at Kasimedu.

More than 500 residents, devotees and members of the local Shiv Sena unit took part in the procession. A contingent of 75 policemen led by assistant commissioner (Pulianthope), P. Loganathan, ensured order.

A group of 30 persons including devotees and fishermen ventured nearly 13 km into the sea and immersed the idol, around 5.30 p.m.

“Despite its high value, we immersed the idol in the sea in keeping with tradition. We hope the idol is not stolen,” said M. Kalaivanan, an organiser.

Experts said the silver would last for centuries under water. “Silver is one of the five basic metals found in earth. It will never corrode. During earlier explorations, many silver objects were found intact in the sea and they were highly valued,” said Vummidi Uday Kumar, general secretary, Tamilnadu Jewellers Federation.

The immersion may be over, but the police are wary.

“The idol can be fished out by thieves and sold in the market. It’s an unnecessary problem for us,” said an officer.

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I respect peoples' religious beliefs, but this defies all logic and core teachings of Hinduism. God is not going to be any more pleased by silver or gold Ganesha statues than a clay idol. Our core belief teaches us to shun attachment to materialism and contentiousness. Sadly, materialism and pompousness has crept into Hindu religious celebrations. Why not use this money to give education to some poor children, feed homeless elderly or other poor? Wouldn't that selfless act please god more?

from:  Balasubramanian
Posted on: Sep 16, 2013 at 09:30 IST

If some one fishes the idol out of the sea, how can it be termed thieving ? Once the devotees have immersed it, they shouldn't be thinking about it. Finders keepers, after that.

Unnecessary confusion.. Faith should be tempered by pragmatism.

from:  shiva
Posted on: Sep 16, 2013 at 07:11 IST

The silver pilliar immersed can not be a metal one,but a clay one with silver wraper wrapoed in,sicne clay one are only immersible, and who will dump the costly silver metal pilliar>it is foolish as well also.

from:  vaidya
Posted on: Sep 16, 2013 at 05:16 IST

Once it is thrown into the sea water, it ceases tobe the private
property. The Govt. can send divers and recover the idol and either put
it in any temple. It can even be given to any big temple for some cost
so that the money realised can be spent for any temple rennovation or to
the Hindu religious endowment trustees.
A known wealth should not be left to any thief and get wasted. .

from:  S.Leelavathy
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 21:59 IST

Ganesh himself would have been happier had we used the money to help
someone in need. Or atleast the money could have been used to restore
any old temple that aren't maintained properly.

from:  Karthik
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 16:29 IST

There is no Bhakthi. Only vanity. What is the tradition (assuming the practice adopted)? Only
small clay pillayars used to be made and immersed in wells. This is a copycat approach
imported from Bombay. Even the practice making big ones in Bombay has been there only
for a few decades and does not have any sanction of tradition. We end up polluting the water
bodies and environment in the name of tradition and religion. This has to stop in the interest
of mankind.

from:  Ram
Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 12:38 IST

Ask the same people to contribute for good roads or public toiler, they
would never do. Sheet waste of Money. No wonder our country is so
backward in many things. God also will not save this country as he has
been dumped in the SEA.

Posted on: Sep 15, 2013 at 10:15 IST
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