With just two days left for the mega festival for the Bengalis to begin, people are all excited about the different themes for this year’s Durga Puja. Though ritualistically, pujas will begin from October 7, pandals around Kolkata have already been inaugurated and the pandal-hopping (as it is popularly called) has already begun.
Among the many unique themes that will entertain the masses, a popular puja committee in South Kolkata has dedicated its pandal theme to Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her life’s journey. Interestingly, the club is in Bhawanipor, which just happens to be the constituency from which the TMC chief had won in the recent assembly elections.
The club, Bhowanipur Durgoutsov Samity, calls the theme ‘Inspiration’. Talking to IndianExpress.com, the general secretary of the club said the organisers had planned to make this their theme long before Mamata Banerjee became the chief minister for the second time. “It was around January when talks began about building something on Didi and her life, orders for the idol was given in February and by March the paintings were also commissioned.”
“We began the auspicious journey on the historic day of July 21,” said Suvankar, the GS of the club. July 21 is a significant day for the Trinamool Congress as the party observes it as the Martys’ Day to commemorate the party members killed in the 1993 Kolkata firing in a clash with the Kolkata police.
The political association with the puja is at many more levels. The idol maker, Komol Biswas, who has shown the chief minister sitting at the feet of the goddess offering prayers, hails from Keshpur, which is infamous for the reoccurring violence between the CPM and TMC cadres.
The pandal has been decorated with paintings that portray Mamata Banerjee’s life since 1993. “We have tried to represent the struggle Didi has gone through to achieve this. The young generation today think she has been a railway minister and then two times chief minister but do not know about her struggle in earlier life, we have captured those moments,” added the secretary.
The paintings have been drawn by Subham Mukherjee and other students of Indian Art College in Dum Dum.
Outside the pandal, the club has put up photographs of the TMC chief with eminent personalities, from Mother Teresa to Sania Mirza.
The organisers said that Banerjee have been overwhelmed by the gesture and was taken by surprise by the grandness of the event. Banerjee herself inaugurated the pandal on October 3.
The pandal has already created a buzz and many have claimed that the asur part of the idol resembles veteran CPM leader Surjakanta Mishra, however, the club members denied commenting on that.
This is not the first Mamata inspired idol have been made this year. An idol of goddess Durga for the upcoming festival has been modelled on Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Chakdah, a suburban town in Bengal. The idol, inspired by the leader shows her dressed in her signature white-and-blue-border, white sari and slippers. The 10-hand fibreglass idol shows the politician holding symbols of/indicating towards the various government schemes she introduced in past five years, while ruling the state.