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[PHOTOS] Kali Puja in Kolkata

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Kolkata: Celebrated on the new moon day of the Hindu month Kartik, Kali Puja, also called Shyama Puja, or Mahanisha Puja, is a festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali. While the Bengalis, Odias and Assamese worship the goddess Kali, Lakshmi puja is conducted on this day by the rest of the nation.

King Krishnachandra of Navadvipa introduced Kali Puja in Bengal during the 18th century. Within the next century, the patronization of this festival by Krishanachandra’s grandson Ishvarchandra along with the Bengali elite raised the popularity of the puja enabling it to take its grand form today.

Devotees and worshippers honour the goddess by giving offerings of red hibiscus flowers, sweets, rice, lentils, fish, meat and even ritualistic animal sacrifices to her clay idols in homes or at pandals. The goddess is worshipped with tantric mantras and rites at night and true devotees are supposed to meditate throughout the night till dawn. Blood donation camps and other events are carried out throughout Bengal by many clubs holding their individual Kali pujas.

Read more- Uncovered: Why the West does not understand Kali

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Maa Kali idol on way to pandal (Kumartuli, North Kolkata)
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Kumartuli artists are busy giving final touches to Kali idol
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North Calcutta Balak Brinda Sangha organized a blood donation camp as part of their Kali Puja festivities
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Congress leader Somen Mitra inaugurating a Kali Puja pandal in North Kolkata.
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Glimpses of Kali idols from the Kumartuli idol-makers den, North Kolkata.
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A Kali puja pandal in the making
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Finishing touches being given to a Kali idol

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Photos by Arnab Mitra

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Private Photos May Have Been Exposed Due To Facebook’s Flaw

Facebook has also come under criticism for fake political ads posted on its site from Russia and other countries.

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facebook says a software flaw may have exposed private photos of nearly 7 million users, the latest in a series of privacy issues facing the social media company.

Facebook said Friday that the photo glitch gave about 1,500 software apps unauthorized access to private photos for 12 days in September.

“We’re sorry this happened,” Facebook said in a blog. It said it would notify users whose photos might have been affected.

Facebook, data, photos
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

Irish regulator to investigate

The software flaw affected users who gave third-party applications permission to access their photos. Facebook usually allows the apps to access only photos shared on a user’s timeline. However, the glitch would have allowed the apps to see additional photos, including those on Marketplace and Facebook Stories, as well as ones uploaded but not shared.

It is not known whether any of the photos were actually accessed.

The lead regulator of Facebook in the European Union, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), said it was investigating the situation to determine whether the company complied with strict new EU privacy rules.

While Facebook says the bug has been fixed, the revelation brought new scrutiny to a company that has faced a series of security and privacy breaches.

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Earlier issues

Earlier this year, Facebook acknowledged that a political consultancy firm, Cambridge Analytica, gained access to the personal data from millions of user profiles.

In September, the company said it discovered a security breach affecting about 50 million user accounts that could have allowed hackers to access the accounts. The company said hackers exploited the “View As” feature, which lets users see how their own profiles would look to other people.

Also Read: Facebook Dismisses Report of Journalists’ Frustration With Fact-Checking

Facebook has also come under criticism for fake political ads posted on its site from Russia and other countries.

The company has more than 2 billion users worldwide. (VOA)