Throwback Thursday: Ganesh Chaturthi in Bollywood

Ganesha is all set to be back again into your homes and communities, filling up on all the tasty modaks and enjoying all the fanfare around his pandals. Yes, it’s Ganesha Chaturthi and it means 10 days of aarti and all that pomp that comes with the festival. The celebration of Ganesha, which was started on a public scale by Lokmanya Tilak, has just been increasing in scale over the decades and it has made its way into Bollywood as well. Not only do the Bollywood celebs celebrate this festival on a large scale but also the movies have been known to include this festival as a part of their storylines. It gives them opportunities to stage dramatic deaths (Satya, Agneepath, Aan – Men at Work) or to introduce the leads (Don, Wanted). The reasons may be different but even in the movies, the celebration has undergone a transformation over the decades.
The Sixties and Seventies
Surprisingly not a lot of movies portrayed Ganesh Chaturthi in this era. There was Pujarin (1969) which is the first instance of the festival on the silver screen. It showed a very simple procession of people on their way to the immersion and the song can be still heard in some pandals even today.
The Eighties
TakkarMovies like Takkar and Hum Se Badhkar Kaun were the ones who were next to continue the tradition of using Ganesh Chaturthi as their plot points. Strangely, both the films took a satirical take on the festival. While one talked about the Godmen earning the money in the name of God while the other was praising God but only to steal from him later.
The Nineties

1280x720-Pr9With movies like Aasoon Bane Angaarey, Mahaanta, Vaastav, Satya and Agneepath, the nineties are probably way ahead when it came to celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in the movies. They had mixed it up with big pandal celebrations in some movies whereas in some they stuck to small celebrations at home, which also represents how people in the 90s celebrated the festival.
The Two Thousands

maxresdefaultThis is the era where Ganesha received a Bollywood makeover. Not only did we have an animated Ganesha in the movie My Friend Ganesha but also the celebrations just got grander with movies like Don and Wanted, which introduced their leads in the midst of a celebration and with movies like Aan, which dramatized the whole death-of-a-main-character-while-people-continued-to-celebrate segment.
Bollywood has always been a mirror to the society. There might have been some exaggerations and addition of a little glamor by the time we see the reflection, but the essence is always there. Have you noticed any other celebrations in Bollywood movies? Tell us in the comments below and don’t forget to share.

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