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Ganesh in our Waters

source: www.fullstopindia.com
source: www.fullstopindia.com

My stepson and a friend found a large collection of statues of the Hindu God Ganesh in Lake Chauncy today.

My understanding is that putting representations of Ganesh into water is part of the Hindu festival Ganesha Chadurthi. That's all well and good. Certainly, we have freedom of religion in this country and far be it from me to tell people they cannot practice their religion.

However, disposing of any manmade object into public waters is against the law so I take exception of using our public waters for this purpose.

We have a large population of Hindu residents in Westborough and the surrounding area. If all adherents to Hinduism engage in this practice, it is a serious pollution issue for the Town's public waters. Granted, Lake Chauncy is not a public water supply but that's besides the point. People swim in these waters and fish in these waters.

The Hindu community in Westborough needs to understand that their freedom of religion ends at the water's edge as far as Ganesh is concerned. They need to find another way to honor Ganesh that does not violate state and local law and despoil a publically shared resource.

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Dan Bresnahan December 02, 2013 at 09:09 AM
Ya, don't they know the lake is for shopping carts and old tires?
Reece Nala December 02, 2013 at 02:53 PM
I find this "opinion" pretty sad due to the fact that because a large collection of religious statues were found, the hindu community is being called out for it. Humorous because this "opinion" makes no other reference to what else has been found and can be found within this lake. I can count the number of times I've visited this lake and the crap I find in that also fits into this "illegal" category that has the potential of polluting our waters. Humorous because as this "opinion" states, because there is a large Hindu population and if all these Hindus practice what he THINKS was done as part of a festival then pollution is at risk. I find the author of this written opinion seriously naive. I am astonished that someone from would express this opinion and implicate because of religion our pollution is at risk and not cite other sources risk to pollution to our waters. For a news source to allow this "opinion" to published baffles me as it showing discrimination at it's finest. What a poorly written opinion and because of that, I laugh.
Andy Koenigsberg December 02, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Reece - I know that when people are informed that something they do routinely is against the law, they will in most cases, change their practices. That is my purpose here. The festival of Ganesha Chadurthi is well known. Who else is going to put statues of Ganesh in lake Chauncy if not Hindus who are practicing their religion? Pollution is pollution regardless of the source. If recent immigrants to this country are continuing practices that are in conflict with local laws, then they need to be informed and encouraged to stop such practices. The fact that other garbage is illegally tossed into the waters is besides the point and does not therefore make this practice OK. Putting any type of man-made object into a water body, for whatever intention, whether it be a shopping cart (malicious), a religious statue (well intentioned), or a candy wrapper (plain laziness) is still illegal and needs to be discouraged. As the notice at the bottom of my letter states, it's my opinion, and I stand by it.
New Resident December 02, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Typical Reece, someones opinion on religion or culture differs from yours then they must be naive or discriminatory.
arthur December 02, 2013 at 10:00 PM
What is a 'large collection'?
Reece Nala December 02, 2013 at 10:31 PM
I don't believe because I have a difference in opinion someone is naive or discriminatory. I am saying that because this author of this article is specifically calling out a religion for polluting our waters when there are so many other reasons why our water is getting polluted, is discriminatory. Why not state that putting any object into the water purposefully despoils a publicly shared resource? For someone to write "The Hindu community in Westborough needs to understand that their freedom of religion ends at the water's edge as far as Ganesh is concerned", who are you to tell someone when their freedom of religion ends? Also, please note that whether it be a shopping cart, tire, water bottle or even a candy wrapper, malicious or not, are all still intentional and just as intentional as a religious statue. It is not besides the point. I'm curious to see if an article will specifically be written for each of these objects, calling out the specific types of people who threw them into the lake?
Laura Dawson December 02, 2013 at 10:32 PM
You have complete total right to state your opinion and I understand your point for "pollution" if you're talking about what that statue of Ganesha might be made of, however pin pointing at one specific religious group is over my head. If you are so adamant about keeping this lake clean and not polluted, why not pin point at all other religions Christians, Catholics, muslims and about not throwing "shopping cart, candy wrapper" and whatever else everyone throws in there. I can sure as hell bet people you know threw something or spit in that lake to pollute it. I've grown up near this lake, and spent several summer days there, the crazy things I have seen done to this lake doesn't even compare to someone being religious and putting a Ganesha in the lake. So before jumping on a religion, think twice about what you say.
Andy Koenigsberg December 03, 2013 at 08:02 AM
I thought long and hard before I wrote this letter. I truly doubt the Knights of Columbus or malicious teenagers are putting these statues in the lake. So if you think I am being politically incorrect and are offended, oh well that's your problem, not mine. I would no more condone statues of the Virgin Mary being thrown in Lake Chauncy and I'd be writing the same thing in this space for the same reason if that were the case. As far as me knowing people who throw stuff into Chauncy, you lost that bet. I don't know anyone who throws anything in our local water bodies. I do know people who dispose of yard waste in our wetlands ,which is also illegal and guess what, when I call them out on it, they get offended too because they think they have a right to do so. They don't There is no matter of degree here as far as I am concerned.

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