Durga Puja is one of the major festivals of West Bengal that is celebrated with unparalleled enthusiasm and fanfare. The festival symbolizes the homecoming of Goddess Durga for five days to her maternal home from Mount Kailash. It is a celebration of Good over Evil as the Goddess vanquishes the demon Mahishashur.
Durga Puja is also a time for unabashed indulgence in food. Bhog and Durga Puja are entwined. Bhog refers to sanctified food that is offered to the Goddess and then served for free to all those who come for the puja and is similar to langars that take place in Gurudwaras. Bhog has a dual role of serving the community and making an offering to the Goddess.
It is an auspicious part of Durga Puja, as not only does it offer traditional Bengali food, but it also celebrates Durga Puja by adding a hue of Bengali tradition. Typically, the bhog is vegetarian, contains no onion and garlic. Bengali Hindus have an emotional connection with Durga Puja.
In a recent television debate SWARGARAM aired on ABP Ananda on 8th January 2021, Bengali filmmaker and singer of popular Bangla band Chandrabindu, Anindya Chattopadhyay said, “I will have beef on Nabami and that should be allowed. This is part of my rights guaranteed by The Constitution of India.” Following this Bengali actress Deboleena Dutta made a controversial remark on similar lines on the consumption of beef during Durga Nabami.
During the debate, actress Debleena Dutt who was present in the audience said, “Let me say one thing, I strongly agree with you (Anindya Chattopadhyay). Though I am a vegetarian I can cook mutton and beef both very well. So on Ashtami and Nabami just give me a call…I will cook”.
The most important festival for Hindu Bengalees have been reduced to beef eating by the guttersnipe tollywood drunkards.
— Un-bhadralok bangali (@goonereol) January 18, 2021
Both the statements are disturbing and a direct attack on Bengali culture, tradition, and heritage because Bengalis as a race take immense pride in their past. Bengalis love to take pride in their culture, language, and identity, and it is non-negotiable. But this controversial debate by the so-called Bengali intelligentsia or the ‘buddhijibi’ (as they are known in Bangla) shows how the so-called intellectuals are disconnected from their roots.
As per Hindu religion (Gomata) is regarded as ‘Mother’ and believed to be ‘Sacred’. To the Hindus, the cow is a symbol of the Earth, the nourisher, the ever-giving, and undemanding provider. The generous cow gives milk and cream, yogurt and cheese, butter, ghee, and buttermilk.
Apart from milk, the different benefits we get from cow are:
They served as drought animals and were the main source of animal power for centuries in Bharatiya agriculture. They were also used as a means of transportation. Besides, cattle dung was the main source of manure for agriculture before industrialization. Cattle dung was decomposed in specific ways by Bharatiyas and used in their fields. Even today the modern concept of organic farming promotes this method which was earlier used in all of the Bharatiya subcontinent.
In Ayurveda (a Bharatiya system of healing) there are many uses of cow urine. It can be fermented with herbs like neem and mahua to make effective pesticides for agriculture.
When one is truly informed about Gomata’s true worth, he will take extreme precaution while speaking or referring to Her. In the above debate, both Deboleena Dutta and Anindya Chatterjee appear to have crossed the line and displayed their ignorance
BJP Youth leader and lawyer Tarunjyoti Tiwari filed an FIR against Singer and filmmaker Anindya Chattopadhyay and actress Debleena Dutt at Baguiati police station in West Bengal on January 19, 2021. “I regularly practice in the Calcutta High Court. I am a peace-loving citizen. I worship the Hindu goddess Durga and I worship the cow”.