While CM Shinde’s team has organized a Dahi handi competition at Tembhi naka, Uddhav Thackeray camp MP Rajan Vichare has organized Dahi handi competition at Jambhali Naka.
After almost two years Dahi handi is back in Maharashtra and so are the jubilations and celebrations. Especially in Mumbai and Neighbouring regions, Dahi handi is no less than a sport. Every year hundreds of Govinda pathaks (group of young people playing Dahi handi) come out on Dahi handi and try to build human pyramid by standing on top of one another and break the pot which is called as handi. This is a replica of game that Lord Krishna used to play with his friends.
What initially began as a community celebration, Dahi handi in Mumbai has increasingly become commercial. With political backing and organizers pouring in money, the Dahi handi competitions have become cash rich. The prizes too are very lucrative, the cash prizes sometimes go into Lakhs.
This time however, it is the neighbouring district of Thane which is in focus for Dahi Handi. For two reasons:
Reason no.1| Recently, the state has undergone a power transition. The New CM of the state Eknath Shinde comes from Thane. He too is known for organizing Dahi handi competitions in the city. Incidentally this time, even Uddhav Thackeray faction is organizing a similar dahi handi in Thane.
Reason No.2| The prizes. This year the Dahi Handi prizes, especially in thane go upto half crore rupees and even ticket to abroad.
First of all, the competition has resumed after two years. Due to Covid lockdown and later ban on gatherings, Dahi handi couldn’t be held for the last two years. However, this time, Dahi Handi is not just beiong organized but the state govt has decided to accord it adventure sport status.
This tag will allow participants to apply for government jobs under the sports quota. Participants or their families will be provided with compensation in case of fatal or other injuries suffered by the players during the formation of human pyramids.
Prizes In Lakhs For Dahi Handi
- Event organisers which mostly comprises political parties have been upping the quotient as the prize money announced ranges between Rs 1.11 lakh to Rs 55 lakh.
- The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has announced a total prize money of Rs 55 lakh for a Dahi Handi event being organised by it in Thane and that the winning team that equals world record may also get a chance to go to Spain.
- Another Dahi Handi event to be held by an organisation of Thane Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik carries a total prize money of Rs 21 lakh.
- Local organisation Swami Pratishthan is organising another Dahi Handi carrying a total prize money of Rs 51 lakh, including Rs 11 lakh for the winning team.
The Eknath Shinde team has revived the Dahi Handi at Tembhi Naka in Thane started by Late Anand Dighe. Winning teams will get Rs 2.15 lakh prize money.
The Political Handi:
Every year different Govinda pathaks face off to win prize money. But this year thane is witnessing Political handi with team Shinde and Team Thackeray in a face off.
While CM Shinde’s team has organized a Dahi handi competition at Tembhi naka, Uddhav Thackeray camp MP Rajan Vichare has organized Dahi handi competition at Jambhali Naka. The distance between the two areas is just 200 meters. Thus it is being considered as the show of strength by two factions.
Both the sides are organising the events in the names of Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray and late Sena leader from Thane Anand Dighe, whom Mr Shinde considers as his mentor.
Kalyan MP Shrikant Shinde, who is the Chief Minister’s son, and former Thane mayor Naresh Mhaske told reporters on Wednesday that their Handi depicts respect. On the other side, Mr Vichare said their handi reflects loyalty, unity, culture and the voice of Hindutva.
Winning team at Shinde’s event will get 2.51 Lakh rupees prize money whereas the winning team at Rajan Vichare’s event will get 1.11 lakh rupees.
Not only that, Thackeray camp is also looking to mobilize cadre in the heart of Mumbai Dadar where the party was born. It is holding a ‘Nistha Dahi Handi’ in the Ram Ganesh Gadkari chowk at Dadar West where the Shiv Sena party headquarters—Shiv Sena Bhavan is located. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is Shinde’s ally in the state government, is also getting into the act, and is organising 370 Dahi handi celebrations across Mumbai, including at the historic Jambhori Maidan in Worli, which is the constituency of Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray.
The political Dahi handi this year is very important especially from the perspective of upcoming BMC elections. With Dahi Handi celebrations the Uddhav Thackeray /Eknath Shinde camp are trying to strengthen their bases in Mumbai and thane, which are considered strongholds of Sena.