•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

Legal Ganeshas of Bombay

For the past 11 days Mumbai has been celebrating Lord Ganesh's birthday in the festival of Ganesha Chaturthi. Environmental concerns aside, Ganapati unites Mumbaikars and largely manages to bridge religious affiliations, castes and professions.

Legally India takes a peek at some Mumbai law firm Ganeshas and a very special legal collection.

You will be hard-pressed to find a law firm's office in Mumbai that does not have a Ganesha statue in its lobby or tucked away in an office somewhere.

In fact, Amarchand Mangaldas has more than 50 Ganapati statues scattered around its Lower Parel conference rooms, offices and corridors, although no one has counted them all.

Khaitan & Co partners Rabindra Jhunjhunwala and Haigreve Khaitan planted a silver Ganesh statue the day they started the Mumbai office.

Luthra & Luthra's Ganesh
Luthra & Luthra's Ganesh
Ganesha is widely known and revered in Mumbai as the Lord of beginnings and the remover of obstacles and few business enterprises are started without Ganesha's involvement or blessing.

In that sense, Lord Ganesha is not dissimilar to transactional lawyers.

Luthra & Luthra's Mumbai office has a brass icon (pictured above) in its entranceway and a lamp is lit 365 days a year. "We try to ensure that it is kept on for 24 hours," says Mumbai partner Vijaya Rao although no specific ceremony is held at the firm for the festival.

Most firms have no official office celebrations for Lord Ganesha's birthday, unlike Diwali, which is usually the biggest party of the year for Indian law firms. One partner notes that firms like to stay secular and not be seen as favouring one religion over another.

However, some more devout staff members at several firms are known to hold a private puja ceremony before the office idol for Ganesha Chaturthi.

Luthra & Luthra also has an abstract Ganesha artwork by the well-known Indian artist Satish Gujral in one of its conference rooms (pictured left).

One of Mumbai's more hidden Ganesha legal treasures is the private collection of Kanga & Co's managing partner M L Bhakta (pictured right). He has over 500 Ganapati idols in his home in all manner of forms and garbs. And each one has its own story.

Bhakta says that his love for Ganesha statues started when he was four years old. He has now steadily grown his collection for more than half a century. (click here to see more of Bhakta's Ganeshas)

During Ganesha Chaturthi he also hosts daily pujas and flocks of friends, colleagues, clients and visitors walk through his open doors to take part in the ritual and marvel at the collection. He says that last weekend he received around 600 visitors over two days.

Legally India meanwhile, has had a tiny, three-inch Ganesha in its office since starting up and the benefit of a beautiful communal statue during the festival, which was immersed in the sea last Saturday (pictured).

Email us a picture of your office or personal Ganesh () and we will add it to the Legal Ganesha Flickr photostream.

For those who missed the party and wish they were here, visit Legally India's 2009 Ganesha Chaturthi photoset.

Click to show 7 comments
at your own risk
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.