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‘Ardhanariswar’ to break fetters of conformist society during Durga puja

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By Arnab Mitra & Nithin Sridhar

Kolkata: The bold attempt by the transgender community to set up a Durga idol on the concept of ‘Ardhanariswar’ drew high acclamation not only in West Bengal but also across India. The unique move was supported by Pratay trust and Udyami Yuvak Brinda club in north Kolkata during this year’s Durga Puja.

In a candid interview to NewsGram, artist China Pal laid bare her thoughts to Arnab Mitra.

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NewsGram: What influenced you to take up the ‘transgender Durga idol’?

China Pal: As an artist we always love to conjure up fresh and innovative ideas. So when Pratay trust and members of Udyami Yuvak Brinda club approached me with their concept, I was enthralled, as the idea facilitated me to showcase my work at the highest level. I felt this was the first time in my 30-year career that I got something that will give me utmost satisfaction.

NewsGram: The transgender community is still looked down upon in our society, so, did this affect your decision making?

China Pal: Any art form acts as a mirror to the society. Happening in the society is obviously reflected in the works of an artist. Through my humble effort I want to make a bold protest against the conformist views of the society.

If Hindu mythology gladly accepts ‘Ardhanariswar’ so why can’t people who use smart phones nowadays give recognition to the concept.

Durga puja is a celebration of how an evil was vanquished.  Through my works, I want to urge everyone to defeat the traditional custom of disrespecting the transgender community and the prostitutes. We must not forget that we all are creations of God and are a product of the society where we live in.

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NewsGram: What were the challenges you faced?

China Pal: It is obvious that criticisms and art are synonymous. Works will always draw flak from a quarter of the society. However that should not deter an artist. Moreover, an artist is above religion, customs and partisan spirit. Relentless support from Pratay trust, Bhanu Naskar  (a transgender) and from well wishers encouraged me in my venture. I highly appreciate their support.

NewsGram: What are your chances to bag an award?

China Pal: It does feel good to get an award but the best prize that an artist can get is the appreciation of the work.

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Ardhanriswar: The concept of cosmic union

The artist has attempted to capture the essence of being transgender through the depiction of Durga as Ardhanarishwar. But, it must be pointed out that, the concept of Ardhanarishwar as such is not related to transgenders. Ardhanarishwar is about the cosmic unity of Shiva-Shakti, the Existence and motion, the Consciousness and action, and it has nothing to do with transgenders who are considered as Tritiya Prakriti.

Yet, the Ardhanarishwar aspect of God brings out a vital truth of life that every person, irrespective of their gender, has both Shiva tattva and Shakti Tattva (essence of both Shiva and Shakti) inside them. This is true for transgenders as well.

Ardhanarishwar depicts that, God who is beyond gender, is also the abode of all genders. Therefore, Transgenders must have equal respect in society as anybody else, because ultimately, God is in the hearts of everyone- Man, Woman, and a Transgender.

Next Story

Patients Going Through Gender-Transition Treatment At A Grater Risk Of Cardiac Diseases

Researchers determined and compared the incidence of CVD cases in the transgender population with that reported in the general population. 

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On the other hand, transmen -- those assigned female sex at birth but had male gender identity and received hormones -- had a more than three-fold rise in heart-attack risk compared with women, said the study, published in the journal, Circulation. Pixabay

Patients receiving hormone therapy as part of their gender-transition treatment have an elevated risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart attacks, strokes and blood clotting, researchers say.

Researchers determined and compared the incidence of CVD cases in the transgender population with that reported in the general population.

The study showed that transwomen — individuals, assigned male sex at birth but with female gender identity, receiving hormones as part of their transition — had more than twice as many strokes as women and nearly twice as many strokes as men.

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Heart attacks occurred at more than twice the rate among transwomen than women. Pixabay

In addition, there were five times as many blood clotting among transwomen than women and 4.5 times more than men.

Heart attacks occurred at more than twice the rate among transwomen than women.

On the other hand, transmen — those assigned female sex at birth but had male gender identity and received hormones — had a more than three-fold rise in heart-attack risk compared with women, said the study, published in the journal, Circulation.

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In addition, there were five times as many blood clotting among transwomen than women and 4.5 times more than men. 
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“In the light of our results, we urge both physicians and transgender individuals to be aware of this increased cardiovascular risk,” said Nienke Nota, researcher at the Amsterdam University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

Also Read: Push-ups Can Lower The Risk of Heart Diseases

“It may be helpful to reduce the risk factors by stopping smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet and losing weight, if needed before starting therapy, and clinicians should continue to evaluate patients on an ongoing basis thereafter,” suggested Nota.

For the study, the researchers included 3,875 individuals who had received hormone treatment — 2,517 transgender women received estrogen, with or without androgen-suppressors, and 1,358 transgender men received testosterone — as part of their transition. (IANS)