Enviros in India are calling for a change to a Hindu tradition that results in dramatic annual fish kills. Each year, at the end of a 10-day festival in Bombay for the Hindu god Ganesh, tens of thousands of painted statues of the elephant-headed deity are thrown into lakes, waterways, and the Arabian Sea. “Within 24 hours you get massive fish deaths from the toxins in the paint,” said Bittu Sahgal, editor of an Indian environmental magazine. But enviros are fighting an uphill battle, akin to convincing Americans to give up Christmas trees. Vijay R. Khatu, Bombay’s best-known idol maker, says activists should look to other sources of pollution: “The Ganesh Festival comes once a year. Every day, the factories dump chemicals into the sea and the big ships leave their diesel.”

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