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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Kolkata-based “artist” Sanatan Dinda depicts Maa Durga in a Hijab and Niqab

Ahead of Durga Puja, a proclaimed ‘artist’ from West Bengal, Sanatan Dinda, violated Hindu Dharma and Hindu sentiments by posting a sketch of Maa Durga wearing the Muslim hijab and a niqab. As repugnant as a sketch could get, Maa Durga’s lipstick can be seen smeared across her mouth and her niqab and her eyes are brimming with tears reflecting fear in the drawing.

The warrior goddess, the embodiment of divine shakti who makes demons tremble, has been made to look petrified in Dinda’s depiction. The distasteful piece of “artistry” created using charcoal dry pastel has the caption ‘Maa aschen’, (Mother is coming).

Upset at the painting, BJP Mahila Morcha Vice-President Keya Ghosh tweeted that Sanatan Dinda probably made it because ‘he knows he can get away with it’.  

This certainly was the case till a few years back; Hindu Dharma and beliefs have been denigrated and mocked by left-liberals and other Hinduphobes for decades, and this is a country-wide phenomenon, not limited to just West Bengal. But there is a growing awakening among Hindus who are not taking things lying down anymore.

The image has since been taken down by Dinda after receiving massive flak from Hindus from all walks of life. However, this image of Maa Durga and the many experiments with the depiction of the Goddess and other Hindu deities shows that there is a deeper underlying sickness in society which needs to be addressed. 

While Durga Puja is a major Hindu festival for all Hindus, it is the festival of all festivals for Bengalis. They look at Maa Durga as their daughter and her puja marks the homecoming of a daughter in West Bengal, though this belief is not supported theologically as Durga, a manifestation of Parvati, is the daughter of Himavan, the ruler of the Himalayan Kingdom.

Unfortunately, this sentiment has been exploited by the leftist-Islamists abundantly, who relegated the Durga Puja to a fair-and-feasting holiday and an exhibition of craftsmanship which resulted in the manipulation of the image of the Hindu Devi and maligned her sanctity beyond words. 

Every year, as the Durga puja nears, debauched “artists” play with the imagery of Maa Durga with impunity. A hijab is an Islamic symbol, something which many Muslim women consider an imposition. Numerous Muslim women have been killed and tortured for not wearing it – many are protesting it in Iran and being punished with death.

Exactly what depravity of thought must an “artist” attain to wrap this symbol of submissiveness on the almighty, all-pervasive, slayer of demons, Maa Durga? This is not artistry. This is downright evil in the guise of elitism and creative freedom, an assault on the Hindus through a complete abomination of the strength and divine feminine energy that Maa Durga represents. 

As the Durga Puja nears, we may expect to witness more of such sacrilegious experiments by the artists in Bengal. Recently, murti maker (murtikar) Mintu Pal was in the news for crafting an idol of the state’s controversial Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, as the embodiment of Maa Durga. This idol will be seated at the Puja Pandal of Nazrul Park Unnayan Samiti in Baguiati.

 “The idol is of Mamata Banerjee with her 10 hands showing the 10 schemes of the Bengal government. From Kanyashree to Shuboshree to Swastha Sathi, all of her schemes will be highlighted,” said Mintu Pal. However, following a huge public uproar, he has confirmed that “This idol will not be worshipped, but will be kept in the pandal. A smaller Durga will be kept and worshipped for the traditional puja rituals. This idol will be for show and public viewing only.”

While the larger Mamata-murti will not be worshipped, the politicization of the puja shows how much some Hindus have fallen. The Durga Puja in the state is becoming a tool in the hands of leftists Islamists who are furthering their political propaganda through the depiction of Maa Durga every year.

Sri Ganesha is popularly seated on the lap of Maa Durga in many clubs and domestic pujas during the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration, but a club in Harishchandrapur in West Bengal’s Malda district placed Sri Ganesh on the hands of Mamata Banerjee’s idol doubling as “Durga”, holding placards of her schemes in her other hands. Was this distasteful decision purposely made by Club Secretary Bulbul Khan to slight Hindu religious sentiments? 

in 2019, the Durga Puja committee at Haridevpur area, South Kolkata tried to promote anti-NRC sentiments through their pandal themed on refugees, while last year the goddess was showcased as a migrant woman by the Barisha Club Durga Puja committee in Behala, Kolkata.

The haplessness in the eyes of that idol opposed to the strength and serenity of the warrior goddess was a mockery of the Hindu faith; worse was the wiped away sindoor which is an attack on the Devi’s shaubhagyawati suhagan status.

And this degeneracy and assault on Hindu sensibilities for cheap publicity or public messaging is not limited to Durga Puja and WB alone. In this year’s Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, Sri Ganesh has been depicted holding up sanitary napkins in Madhya Pradesh, donning a PPE kit to promote vaccination in Gujarat and standing on vaccine vials in Hyderabad. Do public messaging by all means, but without tampering with the correct depiction of deities! How can we reduce our deities to a prop in support of some ’cause’?

In a similar vein, a baker in Ludhiana made a 200kg Sri Ganesh murti out of Belgian chocolate, to ostensibly support eco-friendliness! Well, chocolate is the most water-guzzling food: it takes a whopping 17,196 litres of water to produce 1 kg of chocolate. Beef comes second with 1 kg beef requiring 15,415 litres (not to mention the greenhouse gas emissions from beef farms).

Yes, Hindus are aware that visarjan (immersion) of murtis made of insoluble materials are a concern and there is a welcome shift towards murtis made of organic materials. But let’s assume the bulk of murtis in public pandals are still made out of plaster of paris – whatever harm is caused to the water bodies by immersing the Ganesh murtis will still be far less than the carbon footprint of or water consumed by one 5-star hotel or golf course!

Legal action against such ‘artists’ and ‘activists’ to book them under IPC Section 295A is the way ahead. Practicing and aware Hindus must put their foot down at this nonsense.

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