The sweet fragrance of ’Shami’ tree revolves around, the sound of ulludh heard around . Everyone is busy shopping and distant relatives starts to be concerned about you. The numerous pandals deck up all around in the city . That’s when you realize that durga puja or durga pujo is around the corner. Durga pujo or puja whatever one call it is a festival celebrated largely in India. From north to west from east to west and even north east, it is celebrated widely according to the culture and cuisine of the regions across the nation. But one community which has earned patron for the festival is definitely the Bengalis.
Bengali community have different style and enthusiasm of celebrating it. The whole concept of Durga is so pro feminist and so divine that one cannot question on the existence of not following it. From the formation of idol till its submergence everything is done religiously feminist manner. All the festivals celebrated across the world is dedicated to some or the other gods and goddesses .But have one ever imagined why the gods we pray are genderly biased. The whole concept of divinity according to the major philosophy is to find one’s inner self and be close or even a part of the universal eternal aura. Then from where does the question of gender arises? It’s a very controversial but a matter to be discussed. And has been never put on the table and discussed.
Thinking beyond gender is not possible for many of the existing societies and communities and to talk about god in that sense is a sin. But this sin is changing its form. In Bengal Bhanu Naskar and friends are members of the Pratyay Gender Trust which is collaborating with the Joy Mitra Udyami Club to organise the puja. They have created first of its kind a transgender durga idol . The idol is not the usual figure of a woman. It’s “Ardhanarishwar” – a half man, half woman. Mythologically, half Shiva, half Parvati with iconographic roots in Puranic canons, this idol worship has been organised by transgender – hijras in common parlance.
Even before the festive season began it started to get criticism around the block, with police not giving them permission it’s getting difficult with each passing day. But the community seems pretty stubborn to have their way this pujo.
May this Durga Puja bring openness and better understanding of life which is not seen with the eyes of gender to everyone. We the team of The Times of World wish our readers a very happy, prosperous and gender neutral Durga Puja season. Let the mighty truth kill all the darkness of your life and let there be eternal light and truth.