Bella Jaisinghani, TNN 

Guardian minister Jayant Patil‘s message to Ganeshotsav and dahi handi organizers to scale down festivities owing to the triple bombing of 13/7 is likely to fall on deaf ears. Mandals are urging the government to clean up its act, improve security systems and desist from repeating the same warning every time a terror attack, threat or swine flu outbreak occurs in the city.

While they appreciate that the minister’s statement may have been made in good faith, mandal organizers say that floating crowds are impossible to regulate in a foolproof manner.

“Every year we are faced with some untowa0rd incident or threat. How often will the government ask us to play down our festivals?” asked Ashok Pawar, president of the Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal , which sees lakhs of devotees turn out during the ten days of festivity. “If terrorists can breach so-called impregnable fortresses like the Parliament in Delhi and theTaj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai , what does it say about the way the country’s security apparatus operates? This is the bitter truth.”