KOLKATA : This year Barisha Club in South Kolkata theme is ‘Bhaager Maa’ (“The mother, divided”) this year for their Puja pandal. According to the puja organisers the theme is mainly based around the subject of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the hardship which the migrant workers faced during the Covid-19 pandemic and lock down in India.
The theme mainly depicts the refugee crisis and the pain of the millions of refugees post-partition when they had to leave behind their ancestral homes amid all the violence. According to Debaprashad Bose, one of the organizers, “ The pandal is separated into two parts, the left side represents the Bangladesh border and the right side represents the Indian border. In-between, there is a huge cage-like structure which is showing a woman carrying an idol of goddess Durga along with her children.”
The idol is of a lady with her four kids in a prison van. The van depicts no man’s land.
Last year also Barisha Club had focused on the migrant crisis in India . Last year the Goddess was portrayed as a working-class migrant woman carrying her children in tow. The artist Rintu Das told reporters that this year theme intends to revisit concerns over history repeating itself.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register containing names of all genuine Indian citizens. At present, only Assam has such a register. Its purpose is to document all the legal citizens of India so that the illegal immigrants can be identified and deported. The final draft of the NRC was published in 2019.
Meanwhile Soumen Mitra, Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, has said elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure smooth flow of traffic during the Pujas.
Mitra on Friday informed that an adequate number of Puja guide maps have been printed, which will be distributed from the police kiosks across the city. A digital version of the guide map will also be available on the Kolkata Police website.
The police arrangement for Durga Puja this year will start from Chaturthi and will continue till Dashami. From Dashami, special arrangements have been made at the Ganga ghats for immersion.