Lalbaugcha Raja is the most famous and revered Ganesh idol in Mumbai. Every year during Ganesh Chaturthi, thousands of people irrespective of cast and creed arrive just to get a glimpse of the massive idol. The idol holds a very special place for people in Mumbai and also Ganesh devotees across the world.
View this post on Instagram
However, the VVIP culture that is prevalent at Lalbaugcha Raja, as in multiple other important places of worship, is something that is very disappointing to see. Common people stand in queues for hours on end and get only a split second for darshan. Whereas, celebrities get to enter via the VVIP section and are allowed their own sweet time to offer prayers and goods and click pictures.
Here’s a video that captures the VVIP culture very well. Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty went to Lalbaugcha Raja to offer prayers. We see how there is a separate section with immense security for VVIPs. She offers her prayers and clicks pictures while common people, just on the other side, are seen being rushed by the security. They don’t even get much time to look at the idol and offer their prayers.
The video was shared by a journalist named Abhishek who slammed this culture and wrote, “VVIP culture in temples should be called out in every way. YouTube channel of Lalbaugcha Raja of Mumbai is full of such videos. You can see how VVIPs are treated and how common devotees are treated in the same video. Aren’t all equal before god? Privilege hai ki jaati nahi.”
Have a look:
VVIP culture in temples should be called out in every way. YouTube channel of Lalbaugcha Raja of Mumbai is full of such videos. You can see how VVIPs are treated and how common devotees are treated in the same video. Aren't all equal before god? Privilege hai ki jaati nahi. pic.twitter.com/QjXj9su2B3
— Abhishek (@AbhishekSay) September 24, 2023
People online too shared their discontent regarding this culture. Here’s what some of them wrote:
All are same before god but not in the eyes of god’s broker
— ASAN (@Atulsingh_asan) September 25, 2023
Shameful VVIP culture. Have heard normal people stand for 10+ hours just for that 1 second. 🙁@PMOIndia
— fno hacked (@fno_hacked294) September 24, 2023
All are equal before ‘God’ but not before the ‘God’ humans have made.
— Prince Kumar (@onemoreprince) September 25, 2023
I was not given 1 sec of visit, cop pushed me out or I will say I was thrown out…
— Railfantraveler (@Railfantraveler) September 24, 2023
And see at the end how the lady there pulled the little boy!
Money matters no matter where you go be it the temple or any other place.
Go to any place you will find that some are VVIP due to being celebrity and others can also use these VVIP lines or say no lines by paying… pic.twitter.com/K0v1sQX1vp
— pawan yadav (@pawanyadav8) September 24, 2023
VVIP culture dictates that only those with money and influence are worthy of seeing God.
— Sathishwaran Rajalingam (@Sathishwaran) September 25, 2023
Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. The whole concept of VVIP culture in temples is disheartening. Lalbaugcha Raja’s YouTube channel showcases the stark difference in treatment between the privileged and the common devotees. It’s a shame that, in the eyes of God, we’re all equal,…
— Stella John (@i_StellaJohn) September 24, 2023
Everyone is the same in the eyes of god, we believe. Then why this distinction?