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Mamta Banerjee Issues Order for Stopping Durga Idol Immersions For a period of 24 Hours Due to Muharram Processions

Banerjee stated that no Durga idol immersion can be carried after 6 pm on Dashami (Sept 30) till October 1 due to Muharram processions

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Mamta Banerjee
Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal. Wikimedia
  • This year, Durga Puja and Muharram are falling on the same day
  • Banerjee stated that the immersions can be carried on October 2,3 and 4
  • BJP confirmed its arrival in the court against Banerjee’s order

West Bengal, August 24, 2017: Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal clarified that immersion of Durga idols, after the four-day festival of Durga Puja, can take place barring a period of 24 hours.

Banerjee had issued an order earlier during the day against it as this year, Durga Puja and Muharram, the day of mourning for Muslims, are falling on the same day. Her announcement led to malign reactions on social media immediately which accused her of trying to appease the minority community.

“No idol immersion after 6 pm on Dashami (Sept 30) till October 1 due to Muharram processions, immersion will resume from October 2,” Banerjee stated officially.

Mamta Banerjee
Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal clarified that immersion of Durga idols can take place barring a period of 24 hours

In the words of Mamta Banerjee, “Some people will try to create trouble on Hindu-Muslim grounds. Every religion is ours. But if there is a problem while a procession is passing a puja pandal, we will all be affected.”

ALSO READDurga Puja, Muharram peaceful, do not pay heed to rumours: Bengal Police

Muharram falls on October 1 this year. Banerjee stated that the immersions can be carried on October 2,3 and 4. The Chief Minister’s order has chances of upsetting the Hindus even though a similar order had been issued by her in 2016. However, last year’s order was stayed by the High Court of Kolkata.

In the meantime, BJP stated its arrival in the court against Banerjee’s order.

– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025

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Mamata cares for Mukesh Ambani, not for those dying from dengue: Vijayvargiya

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Mamata cares for Mukesh Ambani, not for those dying from dengue: Vijayvargiya

Canning (West Bengal): BJP national General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Thursday slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for meeting industrialist Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai at a time when her state is in the grip of dengue.

“You are in Mumbai to meet Mukesh Ambani. A 21-year-old youth died in Kolkata’s alleys due to lack of treatment. You don’t care for him but you care for Mukesh Ambani because he is a crorepati and he will give you funds for elections.

“Thousands of people are dying in the state from dengue. But shameless government and shameless CM is saying it’s not dengue but something else… ,” he said here.

Banerjee on Tuesday met Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and requested him to invest in her state.

The Chief Minister had a one and half hour meeting with Ambani soon after reaching the country’s financial capital where she is scheduled to attend a business conclave on Wednesday.

Banerjee later told reporters that Ambani would attend the Bengal Global Business Summit organised by her government in January 16-17 in Kolkata.

Vijayvargiya also took potshots at the higher education system in the state.

“Calcutta University is at the 800th position among 1000 varsities. You are downgrading the level of education in the state. It’s has gone down so much that now CU is giving D.Litt to Mamata. Where one time CU had given D.Litt to Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, now it’s Mamata. Where is Raja Bhoj, where is Gangu Teli?” he mocked.(IANS)

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Durga Puja in Bengal to showcase its cross-cultural and trans-boundary influences

Months of protests and violence in the Darjeeling hills has failed to dampen the spirit of the Nepali population in Siliguri and in state capital Kolkata

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Durga Puja in West Bengal
Durga Puja. Wikimedia
  • Durga Puja in West Bengal has evolved into a platform of its cross-cultural and trans-boundary influences 
  • Months of protests and violence in the Darjeeling hills has failed to dampen the spirit of the Nepali population in Siliguri and in state capital Kolkata
  • In Kolkata, the Nepali consulate is expected to host around 100 to 150 members of the community from different parts of Bengal on Dasain

Kolkata/Siliguri, September 22, 2017: From goddess Durga draped in traditional Nepali attire for the grand celebration of Dasain, to the resplendent White Temple of Thailand to glimpses of London and the US — Durga Puja in West Bengal is not only a showcase of the state’s artistic heritage but has also evolved into a platform of its cross-cultural and trans-boundary influences.

Geopolitical tensions notwithstanding, slices of soft diplomacy and globalisation are on show in a clutch of pandals (marquees) in the state.

Take Dasain celebrations in Siliguri, for example.

Months of protests and violence in the Darjeeling hills has failed to dampen the spirit of the Nepali population in Siliguri (located at the base of the hill) and in state capital Kolkata where they are gearing up to celebrate the Nepali version of Durga Puja with pomp and splendour.

Recognised by the splotches of vermillion, rice and curd (“tika”) on the foreheads and the prominent sprigs of barley sprouts (jamara) tucked behind one’s ear, Dasain or Vijaya Dashami — Nepal’s biggest festival — has been observed in Siliguri for 25 years by its oldest social organisation, Bhanu Bhakta Samiti.

“Dasain is celebrated with the participation of all communities: Nepali, Bengali, Marwari, Bihari and others. Everyone is welcomed and people, cutting across political party lines, join in the revelry. The Bengalis even offer ‘anjali’ (floral offerings). The Gorkhaland issue is a political one and we do not let it affect our celebrations,” Krishna Lama (Pemba) of the Samiti told IANS.

“We have been having the Durga idol since the last three years. From Sashthi (September 26), we will begin the worship of the protima (idol). She will be dressed in traditional attire and we have roped in designer Alka Sharma for the costumes. Jamara (pot with wheat sprouts) is indispensable to the festival,” Lama said.

Parents and older members of the family apply tika and place the jamara as blessings for the younger ones. The jamara also signifies “shakti”.

In Kolkata, the Nepali consulate is expected to host around 100 to 150 members of the community from different parts of Bengal on Dasain.

“Every year, for over 25 years, we have a Nepali Durga puja in front of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation building. Cultural programmes are organised and representatives of around 32 samitis (clubs) across Bengal join in,” an official of the consulate told IANS.

Also readDurga Puja Pandal Decoration Catches Cinema Style, Baahubali Palace Will Be In Cruise This Year In Kolkata

Meanwhile, the Deshapriya Park committee, which registered the highest footfall for a pandal last year with five million visitors, has in store a slice of Thailand — a popular tourist destination for travellers from east India, served well with 2.5 hour-long flights.

It has recreated the 20th century Wat Rong Khun temple (or the White Temple) located just outside Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. The detailed all-white exterior with mirror trimmings stands out in stark contrast against the grassy park lawns.

Organisers have also replicated the temple’s piece-de-resistance: A mural depicting the burning Twin Towers as Angry Birds, Michael Jackson, Spiderman and other pop culture icons look on.

At Bhowanipore 75 <https://maps.google.com/?q=Bhowanipore+75&entry=gmail&source=g> Palli puja in south Kolkata, a stone’s throw from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence, a 40,000 square feet area has been converted into a typical London street. The theme is aligned to Banerjee’s vision of transforming Kolkata into London.

With 2017 being the Indo-UK Year of Culture, the club has tied up with the British Council and London Sharod Utsav.

“Big Ben and Westminster will also be replicated in the area. The idol is crafted from mahogany and brass and decorated with dokra art. Post-puja we are planning to install the idol permanently in any one of the famous institutions of the UK like the British museum or University of London,” Club Secretary Subir Das said.

The Star Spangled Banner is prominent at Badamtala Asar Sangha in south Kolkata. The club is calling its celebration ‘West Wind’ in consonance with the Year of US-India Travel and Tourism Partnership.

“Visually the pandal resembles a street in a hi-tech American city at night. The design is complete with skyscrapers and multi-hued buildings and lights,” said Snehasish, one of the artistic heads. (IANS)

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Durga Puja Pandal Decoration Catches Cinema Style, Baahubali Palace Will Be In Cruise This Year In Kolkata

The Baahubali Palace will be the home to Goddess Durga Maa. Given the popularity of the film series, it surely will be a big crowd-puller and also showcase a slice of the variety in Indian culture.

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Durga Puja
Goddess Durga Idol

Kolkata, September 20, 2017: Let your Durga Puja travelogue be a medley of cinema, sensitization and emotion this year.

Walk through the palace of Mahishmati, the ancient kingdom portrayed in “Bahubali 2”, let specialists answer your queries on IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), or learn about the life and work of the Kumartuli potters, whose creations — the famed clay Durga Puja idols — symbolise the very spirit of eastern India’s biggest carnival of piety, fun, food and fiesta.

Teeming with over 3,000 Durga Puja (marquees), the city is all set to welcome the goddess and her children. It is also suitably decked up to shock and awe visitors — both domestic and international.

For starters, in the northeastern fringes of the city, a 100-foot-high marquee, mirroring the set of Mahishmati, is to come up at the Sreebhumi Sporting Club’s venue.

“Given the popularity of the film series, we thought it will not only be a big crowd-puller but also showcase a slice of the variety in Indian culture,” D.K. Goswami of the club told IANS.

Preferring to keep the budget under wraps, Goswami, however, doled out the basic design of the pandal.

The entry would be through a giant archway where an elephant with its raised trunk will be standing atop pedestals. Amarendra Bahubali would be seen climbing along the trunk — as in the sequel’s posters.

“The entire pandal would be made of plywood and fibre and the figures would be life size. The goddess would don gold jewellery in the style of the film. It is worth Rs 10 crore,” Goswami said.

Also along the city’s fringes, on the EM Bypass arterial stretch connecting east and south Kolkata, is the Purbalok Sarbojanin (community puja) which is dabbling in IVF and test-tube babies as its theme.

“The prime motivation for us was to dispel myths surrounding the procedure and also generate awareness on fraudulent practices,” Kuntal Choudhury of Purbalok Sarbojanin told IANS.

ALSO READ: This Durga Puja Brings Narratives of Communal Harmony.

Budgeted at Rs 28 lakh, the pandal, shaped like a uterus, is coming to life with over 4,000 glass test tubes, beakers, burettes and other paraphernalia narrating events leading to a genesis of life with respect to the IVF procedure.

IVF specialists, including Baidyanath Chakraborty and others, are expected to be present to deal with the FAQs surrounding the procedure.

Meanwhile, the 86-year-old Kumartuli Sarbojanin adjacent to the potters’ quarters, is busy dealing with another fact of life. They are showing the inception of the goddess Durga from straw and clay to adorning her with the prettiest of clothes and jewellery to bidding her adieu on the fifth and last day of the festival through the customary immersion.

The marquee houses a Durga idol on a trolley, idols of her children ferried by labourers and a truck outside the structure signifying the final journey of the goddess to the immersion ghats.

The marquee is fabricated with the items the craftsmen use to bring the goddess to life — bamboo, wood, straw and clay.

“We craft the idol with reverence as we think of her as our own daughter. When the Durga puja ends and the goddess departs (immersion), the feeling is the same when your own daughter sets off with her husband after marriage for a new life,” said Babu Pal, a spokesperson for the idol makers. (IANS)