Kolkata pays its tribute to the migrants by bridging the gap between art and tradition

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Kolkata: Millions of migrants have lost their jobs, left cities to return home because of the lockdowns. Lakhs of them were stuck in the cities they worked unable to leave for their homeland. Many ended up walking thousands of kilometers carrying their children and all that they had. West Bengal alone saw the return of more than one million migrants. The journey to their homelands cannot be even dreamt.

Inspired by the same Kolkata’s Pallab Bhaumik has created a statue portraying the goddess in a migrant mother and kids. The idol of goddess Durga is a saree carrying a shirtless baby that has become an internet sensation. The migrant mother idol is made for the Barisha Club Durga Puja Committee.

In an interview with Telegraph, the artist said that he chose a migrant mother to represent the goddess as she braved the summer heat, hunger and poverty, and all other hardships for her kids amid the pandemic. He further added that her relentless spirit portrayed goddess imagery as the spirit of the women and their plight overwhelmed him as an artist.

The idol definitely hasn’t impressed many. They called the idol a “misrepresentation” and also an attempt to “de-fang Durga maa”, “mockery of Hinduism”.

Those who loved the concept have said that Kolkata has connected the gap between tradition and art, really long ago with transgender Durga, Barbie Durga, and many more. “Our beliefs and Hinduism in West Bengal does not need any defense,” says Depandith Das.

On the other hand, Durga puja has also taken a virtual twist keeping in mind the pandal lines and COVID-19. More than 50 pandals will be shown online on specific mobile applications to reach the audience.

Durga Puja in West Bengal is one of the most popular festivals that attract huge crowds at Pandals. Close to 4000 pandals are erected every year.

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