Sunday March 24, 2019

Durga Puja facilitating livelihood in Bengal


By Arnab Mitra

Kolkata: With Bengal’s very own Durga Puja ensuing, the city of joy metamorphoses from just another busy city into a business hub.

With corporate players indulging in the biggest festival of the year, Kolkata drapes in a new look with banners and hoardings hanging from every possible place. The very first banner says “Maa Aschen” (the Mother is coming) and most corporate giants use this to showcase their agenda. As a result those associated with the publicity industry get to do a lot of work as the sector witnesses a boom during the season.

20151007_162656The entry of corporate players in the pujas has facilitated employment, with skilled and semi-skilled artists getting a plethora of works. From dhakis (drummers) to painter and other artisans, the corporate puja gives them a platform to showcase their talent.

Biswajit Modak, an idol artist, from Pallishree Sarbojonin Durgotsav said, “This year I am in charge of three pandals and I am earning a hefty amount of around 1 core. This is my annual income and I have to survive and pay my co-workers as well.” Mintu Pal of Deshopriya Park Durgotsav said, “We have to wait eagerly for the arrival of Maa Durga to begin our work and start earning”. Not only the artisans but also thousands of unemployed youths depends on Durga Puja for livelihood.

The lifestyle and fashion of the corporate Bengalis also change with the festive season. A few decades back, their shopping destination was the local shops but the Gen X Bengalis now order their garments through e-commerce sites and hangout at food joints like Dominos or ‘Sholo ana bangali ana’.20151007_163055

The world can criticize Bengal for not having a business friendly environment and blame the politicians for having an orthodox attitude. But Maa Durga understands the need of her son and hence won’t mind a corporate makeover. According to Professor Rathin Sanyal, “What Devi Durga understands our politicians could not..!! But it is true that Kolkata becomes the main center of trade and business during this festive season”.

Next Story

Communal Harmony, Anti-terrorism Highlight of Kolkata’s Durga Puja Immersion Carnival

Durga Puja 2015 katakhali Dhosomi
Durga Puja 2015 katakhali Dhosomi. Wikimedia

Kolkata, Oct 4, 2017: Highlighting communal harmony, railing against terrorism and bringing diverse themes like the intricacies of human mind and the spirit of freedom to the fore, 68 community Durga puja organisers paraded their award-winning idols in the West Bengal government organised carnival here on Tuesday ahead of the immersion in the Hooghly river.

The carnival, a brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in its second year, showcased the prominent idols from the city and the adjoining districts in a colourful road show at the iconic Red Road here, amid tight security.

The three hour long event saw the puja organisers also exhibiting samples of various artistic creations used in their puja marquees on vibrantly decorated tableaux.

All the community pujas selected for the road show, were winners of Bengal’s ‘Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman’ award in various categories.

Banerjee and her lieutenants attended the event along with several celebrities from the city and foreign delegates. Representatives from England and Chile football team, who are in the city to participate in the FIFA U17 World Cup to be kicked off from Friday, were also present.

Also Read: Celebration of the Devi Shakti: Maha Navmi | Worship Goddess Siddhidhatri on the Ninth Day of Navratri 

According to the organisers, apart from the 20,000 spectators gathered on both sides of the road on occasion of the event, more than 50 lakh people all over the globe witnessed the one of a kind Durga Puja immersion carnival through live streaming in the social media.

Many of the age-old community puja organisers came up with tableaux aligned with various current affairs topics. Their floats in the parade also reflected those themes.

The Sree Bhumi Sporting Club, a major crowd puller in city’s eastern fringes, was the first off the block having won the award of ‘Serar sera’ (best of the best). With the marquee resembling the palace from blockbuster “Babubali”, the organisers decorated the immersion procession in tune with the theme.

South Kolkata’s Rajdanga Nabodoy Sangha emphasised the concept of communal harmony by portraying the peaceful co-existence of six different religions. The organisers put six people, dressed in the traditional attire of six different communities together on a tableau to emphasise that the different paths of religion actually leads to the same destination.

Yuba Moitri Kalighat, another south Kolkata puja that won the award for best branding this year, highlighted their stand against terrorism and celebrated the well being of mankind through their procession.

Tala Park Pratyay themed their tableau on the intricacies of the human mind. Beautiful fireworks marked their procession.

Meanwhile, a number of pujas headed by the representatives from the government and the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress, focused on highlighting various state government initiatives.

For instance, the Samaj Sebi Sangha celebrated the the crusade of green in their procession and rallied singing school students who represent the exuberance of youth. They also hailed Bengal government’s ‘Sabuj Sathi’ initiative that presents a girl child with the sprout of a costly plant during her birth.

Pujas like Ekdalia Evergreen and Tala Park Pratyay showcased Banerjee’s award winning ‘Kanyasree Prakalpa’ meant for the girl students.

Celebrating the natural beauty of Bengal, the puja in Salt Lake’s FD block depicted a piece of rural Bengal amid the jungle of concrete. The singers in their tableau presented the diverse folk music of Bengal.

The special lighting installation from West Bengal’s Chandannagar made the Red Road look like a land of fairy tale. Several celebrities from the Bengali film fraternity, were also seen walking with various puja processions. (IANS)