Bollywood actor Salman Khan celebrates 'Ganesh Chaturthi'

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Mumbai, Sept 5 : Bollywood actor Salam Khan celebrated 'Ganesh Chaturthi', the birthday of Lord Ganesha, with gaiety and fanfare here on Thursday.

Salman performed rituals connected with the festival at his residence.

"In my family, we have people of different faiths. There might be problems otherwise, but religion has never been a cause of a problem in our family," Khan said.

The transgender community in the city also joined in the celebrations.

"I wish that my work prospers. I have offered my prayers to the Lord. I do it every year," said Manisha, a transgender.

The ten-day long festival began on Wednesday.

Ganesh Chaturthi for years was a personal and private affair. But at the turn of the century, freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak started using it as a platform for political propaganda against British colonial rule.

The festival is hugely popular in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Legend has it that Hindu Goddess Parvati had created Ganesh from a perfumed putty-like substance, used to remove dirt from her body in an ancient self-cleansing ritual, the equivalent of a modern bath.

Parvati''s husband Lord Shiva, one of the three most powerful Gods in the Hindu pantheon, flew into rage and beheaded the young lad and barred his entry into Kailash, Shiva''s snow-clad mountain abode.

When he later realised that the boy was created by his wife Parvati during his absence, Shiva brought him back to life by slaying an elephant and giving him the animal''s head. Thus was created Ganesh, one of the best-loved of Indian gods.

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