WB: Durga Puja celebrations to be low-key this year too
(Sourced from PTI)
With three months to go for Durga Puja, arrangements are afoot for the five-day festival in Kolkata, but organizers, much like last year, have decided to keep the celebrations low-key in view of the COVID-19 situation. The Forum for Durgotsab—a platform of 500 community Durga Pujas in the West Bengal capital—took to Facebook on Sunday to announce the countdown for the festival has begun.
West Bengal cabinet minister and one of the spearheads of big-ticket Chetla Agrani Puja, Firhad Hakim, said that this is not the time to organize a gala Durga Puja. Echoing him, his cabinet colleague Subrata Mukherjee, associated with the Ekdalia Evergreen committee, maintained that the panel has decided not to invest in dazzling illumination, which is the hallmark of the popular south Kolkata Puja.
Organizers at Bhawanipore 75 Pally, one of the award-winning Pujas in Kolkata, said they are planning to stick to just the basics this year. "With so many people having lost their dear ones during the second wave...this isn't the time for any ostentatious display of lavish celebrations. All that can wait for better days," Subir Das, the secretary of Bhawanipore 75 Pally, pointed out.
Das said humanity would be the committee's theme this year. "We have provided relief materials to those affected by Cyclone Yaas and organized vaccination camps over the past few months. Maa Durga wants us to serve humanity," he added. TMC's Rashbehari MLA Debasish Kumar—an office-bearer of Tridhara Sammilani Puja—said, "All rituals will be observed for worshipping Maa Durga, but there won't be any celebration."
At SB Park Puja in Thakurpukur, the organizers said that they are looking forward to a theme that will meet the aesthetic parameters within a limited budget. To recall, SB Park Puja won laurels last year for replacing the traditional Durga idol with that of a migrant woman laborer to highlight the plight of such workers amid the pandemic.