For past few days I have been seeing a new trend – ‘The branded god’. It seems that visiting or praying a normal ganpati is not enough these days. People are more happy / satisfied when they are visiting branded ganpatis. If you are looking for an example then you need not look any further than ‘ Lalbaugcha Raja‘. People seem to be happy/ elated/ feeling blessed cause they waited few hours in queue and got to see the ‘Lalbagcha Raja’. That for me is the concept of ‘ Branded God’.
Let me explain. Like a phone , ganpati seems to be a generic product and nobody seems to be excited for just any ‘ganpati’; whereas ‘Lalbagucha Raja’ seems to be a premium brand like ‘Iphone’ – The only other thing that people are happy to queue !! Fair enough I guess. Branding does that to people. A brand is designed to give people a perception that one product is better than other product. Having said that, When it comes to God I find the concept fundamentally flawed. Let me explain why.
A brand is a name, sign, image or anything else that allows you to differentiate from competitor products. ‘Iphone’ as a brand differentiates the image/ perception of a phone from other phones; so are we saying that we have created these God brands to differentiate from other Gods? seriously? That just doesn’t feel right, atleast not to me !! Are we saying that there is competition between gods? Are we saying we are customers in the ‘God Market’ who are going to be brand conscious
ganpati or god in general is the last place where we should be branding. I am sure that any ganpati however small or big is the same God. I am sure all of us agree but then why are we placing a premium on one particular ganpati? Are we really going there for the right purposes or are we just getting on the brand wagon? It seems just like ‘Iphone 5C’, ‘Lalbagcha Raja’ is the next must have!! The similarities are very very obvious. Everyone wants it, everyone is happy queuing for it, everyone is celebrating because they got it !! You can almost compare the photographs of people with brand new iphones with people who have just visited ‘Lalbagcha Raja’!!
I leave it to all of you to decide but for me this is just not right. Not for the us and definitely not for ‘Ganpati’ !!