Durga Pujo or ‘Saradautsav’ needs no introduction. The fragrance of Shiuli & white dancing Kash flowers in the lush fields along with the clear blue sky with patches of woolly clouds brings us the message ‘Ma Asche’ A festival which not only represents Bengal but has a link to each & every home in India.
Durga Puja is celebrated every year in the Hindu month of Ashwin (September-October) and commemorates Ram’s invocation of the goddess before going to war with the demon king Ravana. This autumnal ritual was different from the conventional Durga Puja, which is usually celebrated in the springtime. So, this Puja is also known as ‘Akal-Bodhan’ or out-of-season (‘Akal’) worship (‘Bodhan’). Thus goes the story of Lord Ram, who first worshiped the ‘Mahishasura Mardini’ or the slayer of the buffalo-demon, by offering 108 blue lotuses and lighting 108 lamps, at this time of the year.
Ma along with her children Ganesh, Kartik Lakshmi & Saraswati descends from Kailash her abode & visits her ‘Baaperbari’. It is celebrated over a span of 10 days starting from Mahalaya. The dusky evergreen voice of Birendra Kishor Bhadra on the auspicious day sets the tone & drives the Bangalis into a frenziness.
The festival comes to an end on Vijay ‘Dashami’ when the goddess along with her children are immersed! Durga Ma returns to her home Kailash. It is a unique day.
A day of sorrow & happiness. Sorrow as the wait for 1 more year starts. Happy because it is the day when all family members gather & rise to occasion, an old Bengali tradition. Younger ones touch elder’s feet as a mark of respect & is followed by kola-Kuli (a unique way of hugging).
But things have changed post 2015 & Indians have left the Bengalis alone to face the wrath. In 2015 , Vijay Dashami was followed by Muharram & Mamata Banerjee issued a strange dictate which baffled the common Bengali.
As per the govt notification it said: “NO DURGA IDOL including the ones at home could not be immersed on Dashami as it is followed by Muharram”.
Reason: It could create a communal hatred among communities & destroy the secular fabric of Bengal. (IN THE SAME YEAR a Muslim majority village called Kanglapahari in Birbhum was not allowed to celebrate Durga puja as it is ‘Unislamic’. The state was mum.The ‘nationalistic’ BJP govt in centre did nothing except few twitter trends). Bengalis were visibly disappointed on the ‘Vijay Dashami’ dictate but ‘Bhadralok’ Bangali thought it was just an aberration & compromised without giving a fight.
But oh boy they were proven wrong. In 2016 again the same thing happened. But there was 2 difference in that year:
1) This time Mamata Didi didn’t wait. A notification was issued as early as 3 months before Puja that this year also no immersion on Dashami.
2) The ‘bhadraloks ‘ this time was angered. Even somehard core tmc supporters was in a discomfort with the ‘secular’ decision .
Few brave Bengali families decided to go to court & urged Kolkata HC to take cognizance & allow family pujo idols to do immersion. Though it was late it created a rage in social media & supports from other parts of countries started pouring in. Finally the court order came just 2 days before ‘Sashti’ the 1st day of Pujo & it was humiliation for State govt.
The HC said & I quote:
“There has been a clear endeavour on the part of the state government to pamper and appease the minority section of the public at the cost of the majority section without there being any plausible justification.” The families which approached court was thus granted permission for immersion. There was a reason for rejoice!
But at the same time many felt why they have to approach to court to celebrate their festival which is carrying on from centuries. Nearly one year have passed & less than 90 days are remaining for Durga Puja 2017 & strangely this time again Vijay Dashami is followed by Muharram. And I can vouch this time again Mamata will issue a similar dictate.
Why shouldn’t we take the 1st step this time? Why should we wait to suffer the same fate again? My fellow Indians from all over the country its time to come together. ‘Har saal Durga Ma aati hain, Burai ka nash karti hain, Sab ka maan kushio se bhaar deti hain Aur phir apne ghar chale jati hain’
We should ensure that Durga Ma can go her ‘Ghar’ her abode in Kailash back to her Shivji in a dignified way without humiliation.
The responsibility lies with all the Indians Ma Durga is in Danger. If we don’t wake up now who knows there may be a ‘dictat’ in future by secular liberal & ‘feminist’ jaamat which would say: “Durga puja needs to be stopped because Durga Puja is a controversial, racial festival, where a fair-skinned, beautiful goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark-skinned native called Mahishasur. They hired a sex worker called Durga who enticed him into marriage and killed him after nine nights of honeymoon”.
Sounds familiar already right (JNU pamphlets)?
Wake up. Jaago Tumi Jaago!
JAY MA DURGA