India is the tower of the monsters of Karuna at the Durga Puja Festival of India

ایIn the autumn, the streets of Kolkata come alive with the sounds of Durga Puja. The Hindu festival of celebrating good over evil is celebrated in West Bengal and neighboring states as a time for dancing, drumming, eating and worship.

Yet the most important feature of this festival is this Venue – Great display of religious statues depicting the story of Durga Puja: The moment when the Hindu goddess Durga conquered Maheshasur Shaitan.

Venue He is known for his creativity, and this year, when the festival began on Thursday under the restrictions of Coyote-19, it was no different. But now, in various venues, instead of the usual statues of the Maheshwar monster, a new ugly being has been put in its place: the Coronavirus Devil, known as Coronasura.

Coronasura has taken many forms. In some venues, the head looks like a stork CoV-2 particle, whose head is filled like a long trumpet. Others have easily turned the devil green, as if he were the embodiment of a virus.

The Coronasura, the Corona Devil, is featured by Jaiten Paul in a venue in the Saliguri of the Northern Majlis.
Coronasura in a venue in Siliguri, by sculptor Jutten Paul. Photographer: c / o artist

On the streets of Kolkata, where most of the images of Durga Puja are made, Babu Pal, secretary of the Artisans Association of Kumartoli, spoke of the reliance he had on Coronasura for a client.

“Corona is a monster that everyone knows, it’s the devil that everyone is fighting, and we are all looking for the power to defeat him,” said Paul of Murthy. “Also, there is no such thing as a cove in the area of ​​our artisans, and we want to make this icon here to thank the goddess for protecting us from the devil of Kevina.”

The inhumane effects of the corona virus epidemic also inspired artist Rinto Das to set up a very different venue for the Barisha Club Durga Puja Committee in Kolkata this year. Instead of depicting the goddess, Das portrayed the shrine as a refugee woman with whom she travels the streets of India with her children in treachery and exhaustion.

It is based on the experiences of millions of Indian migrant workers who, when they went to the country with only four hours’ notice, found themselves stranded hundreds and in some cases thousands of miles away from home. Without any work or transportation, most people started walking home, which became the largest exodus of people across India since the partition of India. About 1,000 migrant workers have died during their travels.

“I would turn on the TV and see all the pictures of migrant women walking hundreds of miles along the streets, often taking their children with them to eat with just a handful of rice that was raw and bloody. Women, mothers, daughters, who looked very disappointed as they walked.

“When I came up with the idea of ​​making an idol of a Durga Puja that made the goddess look like these migrant women,” he said. These women who are in pain and suffering but full of strength and determination and strength, who should be respected and worshiped. Women who have God in them.

Refugees and many others in West Bengal suffered from hunger pangs during the lockdown. The huge 14-foot statue is surrounded by 30,000 sacks of rice, lit by bulbs and hung around the venue. Is.

Das said, “I pray that my Dargah will give new life to everyone who faces it, so that it will take away the pain from everyone who is suffering at the moment.”

A statue of Durga Puja by Rinto Das presents Goddess Durga as a female migrant worker.
A statue of Durga Puja by Rinto Das presents Goddess Durga as a female migrant worker. Photographer: c / o artist

This epidemic has made this year’s Durga Puja unrecognizable. West Bengal, a state still battling rising cases of the corona virus, has introduced a series of drastic measures to curb the alarming increase in the number of people coming and going on the streets, which is now in India. I have over a million in total. More than 4,000 venues across the state, the largest and most popular in general with millions of visitors, have been barred from entering except for organizers and actors. Barracks are usually erected around resounding places of worship.

This has been especially difficult for traditional artisans who make their living out of clay and fiberglass for Durga Puja. They usually receive orders and start making sculptures five months before the festival, but this year they had less than two months. Even then, only orders entered.

Prasant Paul, a 47-year-old artisan on Kolkata’s Kamartoli Street, who has been working for more than 25 years, said last year that he had received orders to take more than 50 icons: this year it was only 15 small ones. And his income was less than 300,000. Rs. 31,000 to Rs. 70,000 (£ 725).

“The plague has taken a heavy toll on the artisans,” he lamented. “Most of the artisans left Kolkata and were afraid to return because of the quaid. But we had to convince them, because if that doesn’t work.” If they do, they will starve to death.

Although visitors are not allowed to enter the venue, West Bengal’s Durga Puja committees have found other ways to ensure that it is enjoyed. In the suburbs of Kolkata, many people have gone digital like the Nowtan Sangha Durga Puja Committee. Abhishek Bhattacharya, a member of the committee, explained how they are offering an extended 360-degree video tour at our venue so that people can go to their homes but still go there in practice and enjoy seeing the idols. Are as if they really exist. “

People can also use YouTube or Facebook to watch the live feed of the portal, which is the main topic of this year’s Introspection, and there will also be video broadcasts of dances and events. ”So wherever we are Can reach the crowd. “

The committee of Santosh Mitra Square Durga Puja, one of the most famous venues in Kolkata, has also hesitantly gone digital. Sitting in the committee, Saje Ghosh spoke of the ugliness of the past years when 10,000 people used to come to his grand venue in an hour. Which will take months to make.

“People can see our venue practically online, but in our hearts we know it’s not the same,” Ghosh said. “We all want to feel the warmth of the festival, and we are all very sad about the situation this year. I can’t express it.”

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