Kolkata: Several Durga Puja organizers in Kolkata have themed idols and statues on issues such as the farmers’ movement, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Partition of India.
One of the leading clubs, Nakatla Udayan Sangh, has kept the theme of its pandal on refugee migration by train.
Nakatla Udayan Sangh spokesperson Samrat Nandi told PTI, “We have reconstructed a train carrying refugees from Pakistan to show the suffering of the displaced people.”
Conceived and executed by Bhabatosh Sutar, the illustration drew references from Khushwant Singh’s novel Train to Pakistan and Atin Bandyopadhyay’s Neelkantho Pakhir Khoje.
Barisha Club in Behala has kept the theme of its worship on NRC highlighting the plight of the displaced people.
Titled ‘Bhager Maa’ (Split Mother), the intense looking idol of the goddess symbolizes the plight of hundreds of mothers who had to leave their homes and head for uncertainty.
However, she is seen holding an idol of Durga, which signifies that she is determined to continue the puja, which was celebrated with much fanfare in her ancestral home.
The marquee is divided into two parts – India and Bangladesh.
A mother and her children wait in a cage-like structure with their babies and belongings in No Man’s Land.
Rintu Das, who conceptualized the subject, told reporters, “The days of Partition are back to haunt us as there is talk of sending back people who have made this country their home for centuries.
Hope history will not be repeated.
The organizers of Dum Dum Park Bharat Chakra Club Puja depicted the farmers’ movement by placing a replica of a tractor on the way to the pandal.
The tractor has two wings on which the names of the farmers killed in the agitation are written.
Pooja also courted controversy over the use of hundreds of shoes to represent police crackdown on agitating farmers, when they had to ride a halter-skelter.
The BJP accused the organizers of hurting religious sentiments and demanded that the shoes be removed from the pandal immediately.