First transgender Durga Puja in Kolkata

রবিবার, ১৮ অক্টোবর ২০১৫
18 October 2015 Durga Puja, celebrated every year as the victory of the good over evil, is also a reaffirmation of the Bengali's innate faith in the Mother Goddess and in women.

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But every year, the Pujas also reflect a tryst with contemporary themes—pandals reflect everything from Speilberg's Jurassic Park to Star Wars to the wonder that is India.

The country's diversity is reflected in pandals designed after famous temples from Kashmir to Assam or Kanyakumari in South India.

The Eiffel Towers and Empire State Buildings, even the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks, are all developed as themes in Puja pandals, illustrated with lights, colours and special effects.

The more contemporary a pandal’s theme, the bigger the crowds.

But even by the standards of Kolkata's broad sweep of contemporary themes in Durga Puja, the worship of a transgender Durga in Kolkata's Joy Mitra Street this year is revolutionary, the first time something like this is attempted.

The idol is fashioned after Shiva's Ardhanarishvara and attempts to represent the marginalised transgender community in Kolkata is the purpose behind it.

The Pratyay Gender Trust has masterminded this effort in the small North Kolkata locality to draw attention to the cause of the transgender, reflective of yet another example of the Bengali's standing up for the underdog and vulnerable.

In April this year, the Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of the Indian Parliament) passed a private member’s Bill for the first time in over three decades, with MPs cutting across party lines unanimously endorsing a proposed legislation that aims to promote the rights of transgender persons, including reservations and financial aid.

Before that in April last year, the Indian Supreme Court ruled that the transgender persons could identify themselves as a 'third gender' in official records and documents like passports and voters cards.

Pratyay Gender Trust seeks to create a mass awareness on the transgender cause—and what better than getting it into a Durga Puja.

The Trust has inspired the local club ‘Uddyami Yuvak Brinda’ to go for the transgender Durga.

The club has been organising the Durga Puja for 27 years now.

The idol is half man-half women. One half of it has a moustache, a pectoral and part of a dhoti.

The other half is the typical Durga Idol that one gets to see.

Conceptualised by the 55-year-old transgender Bhanu Naskar and developed by China Pal, the only woman sculptor in Kumortuli, where Durga idols of Kolkata are made, the transgender Durga has been a hit.

Big crowds were reported even on Saturday and Sunday, before the Durga Puja really gets going.

There is also a Facebook campaign on to raise funds for this transgender Durga Puja.

সর্বশেষ আপডেট বুধবার, ৩০ নভেম্বর -১ ০৬:০০
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