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Friday, June 2, 2023

Durga Puja Pandal “decorated” with shoes; political propaganda rules other Bengal pandals as well

A Durga Puja pandal “decorated” with shoes and chappals in West Bengal’s Dumdum has attracted the wrath of social media users. The concerned Puja is being organized by the Dumdum Park Bharat Chakra puja committee and they claim that they are trying to portray the plight of the farmers who have been protesting the Farm Bill passed by both the Houses of Parliament last year. The pandal, also featuring paddy-bunches and trackers, is covered with anti-Farm bill posters and banners calling out Lakhimpur violence.


Netizens have condemned the desecration of the Puja Pandal by the use of footwear. BJP leaders in the state have condemned the degeneracy flaunted by the Puja committee and accused them of hurting religious sentiments. Leader of Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, addressed this issue through his official Twitter handle and rebuked the organizers for committing a ‘heinous act.’ He has also urged the Chief & Home Secretary to intervene in the matter and have the footwear removed from the Puja premises by Sashti.  

Former governor of Meghalaya Tathagata Roy also echoed Adhikari’s thoughts. “Everything cannot be tolerated in the name of artistic freedom. This is a grave insult to goddess Durga and hurts our religious sentiment,” said the veteran BJP leader while speaking to the media. 

However, there are also members of the “woke” kind, who refuse to see this as an insult to Maa Durga and have been praising the attempt. It would hardly be far-fetched to say that the minds of generations after generations in West Bengal have been polluted by the extended communist regime and the contamination in their ideology makes itself evident through their “art”, “elitism” and the Pandals of Durga Puja. 

In another Durga Puja Pandal in West Bengal’s Beherampur, “rape” is the theme of the pandal. The first thing one sees right after entering the pandal is an effigy of a girl, assumably raped and killed. What a sight to see at a Durga Puja pandal!

These pujas held by clubs that receive huge funds from the government and various other sources have done away with the sanctity of Puja. They have relegated the stature of Durga Puja to a carnival. Devotion takes a back seat in the premises erected by these organizers; these pujas pandals have actually been turned into arenas of political propaganda. 

In multiple pandals this year, an idol of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been installed in place of the Vigraha of Devi Durga. This has led to a huge uproar among the general public. But clubs, financed by the state government, are busy proving their loyalties to the TMC supremo. In an appalling display of pandering to the ruling dispensation, a South Kolkata club brazenly politicized the Durga puja by picking ‘Khela Hobe’ as its theme. 

“Khela Hobe”, a challenging expression coined by Shamim Osman, an MP of Bangladesh”s ruling Awami League was borrowed by the Trinamool Congress during the recent Legislative Assembly elections. Thousands of Hindu families have been displaced and hundreds of Hindu Bengali women were reportedly molested in this “Khela” that precipitated across Bengal after May 2. It is outrageous that the Devi Durga will be seated in a pandal that celebrates the unspeakable atrocities meted out to the people of the state. 

Though the people of West Bengal boast to be the greatest devotees of Devi Durga and pride themselves over the Durga Puja pandals that spend millions of rupees, all the pomp and show appear hollow and unfounded when bhakti is replaced by political activism. The average “woke” citizen in the state is ignorant of its dreadful past and remains to be a confused soul adulterated by the venom of communism that had infested the state for 35 years and that appears to have continued under TMC rule thereafter. The Durga Puja, every year, becomes a victim of the “woke” civilian’s ignorance and mental decay. 

People of West Bengal, mostly those residing in the capital city, get drunk on politics. Inebriated with the power play, it seems like they have lost their judgemental abilities and fail to understand that their political enthusiasm and love for propaganda should take a back seat during the 10 days meant for the adulation to the almighty Durga.

This downfall had started the very day Durga Puja was changed to Durgostsav to give a “secular” appeal to the religious occasion. The average Hindu in the state strives hard to secularise every religious aspect of its identity, the Muslims in the state, however, do not reciprocate the feelings by holding Durga Pooja prayers in Masjids. The annihilation of the Hindus, who appear to have learned nothing from the Noakhali Riots, the Calcutta Killings, the 1971 Hindu genocide, is only a matter of time if this one-sided secularism is allowed to continue. 

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