It is additionally one of the countless instances of the anniversary — the better in Bengal — allegorical accepted accord at a time back the apple grapples with religious acrimony and amusing polarisation.
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According to 80-year-old Satipati Nandi, the ninth-generation brood of the ancestors that claims to accept been the “largest importer of betel basics in eastern India already aloft a time”, this Hindu-Muslim syncreticism comes naturally.
“It may complete as a big accord today but it all started centuries ago. It is said that two brothers, Kuber Shankar and Kama Shankar, were affairs pakodas (fried snacks) in Halishahar in North 24-Parganas back they chanced aloft a fakir who gave them a gold mohar (coin) to alpha an enterprise… revolving about the aboriginal affair they spot,” Nandi told IANS.
The blow is history.
The Nandis ventured into the betel nut business and eventually angled out into absolute estate, accepting assorted backdrop beyond the state, including the present ancestors abode at Pandua in Hooghly as able-bodied as acreage in Garia in south Kolkata.
“In afterthought of the acceptable fakir, we augment two fakirs on Navami (the ninth day of the festival). Now we usually do not acquisition fakirs; so we action khichdi to any two associates of the Muslim community,” Nandi explained.
This accepted affiliation has agitated on to the accompaniment basic Kolkata as well.
In the affection of Kolkata is Kumartuli — the potters’ ascendancy — which is in a accompaniment of aberration with Durga Puja that is annular the corner. The adobe idols of Durga and her pantheon are actuality anointed in acrylic and their curves clothed in active saris.
Their baldheaded active are anxiously draped in jute wigs that accept been agilely ancient into braids and coiled duster for the Hindu goddess by Muslim craftsmen.
Neither blinding rain nor adoration get in the way of business in this active maze-like antecedents of potters and their assistants, labourers, decorators and tourists with selfie sticks — the point of agent of about 5,000 adobe Durga idols anniversary year.
About 400 “shilpis” (craftsmen) agitate out Durga and her accouchement in awash 6 by 10 bottom studios, buried in tarpaulin sheets. The final touches, which activate about a fortnight afore Mahalaya (September 19), accommodate accessory the idols in accessories.
“Draping the beard is an capital allotment of the process. The jute wigs are ancient by Muslim families from Parbatipur abreast Howrah and added areas. A archetypal ‘sabeki’, or acceptable idol, usually advisers a coiled and bouncing wig. Essentially, they are mostly atramentous but we do accept variants of the wig in aphotic brown, blight and beige,” Babu Pal, a agent for the potters, told IANS.
Slightly asperous in texture, they are about duplicate from your boilerplate wigs. Packed in bundles starting off at Rs 100, these are accessible as plaits, beeline extensions for the abandon or as bouncing locks.
“Everyone comes to attending at the idols. They admire, booty pictures and go away. But it’s not aloof the idols… you accept to accumulate the goddess allotment by piece. Muslim craftsmen usually appearance the dress actual and the wigs. You may allocution about cow backroom and put a religious circuit on it, for us it’s the way of activity here… no one talks about this (Hindu-Muslim issues)… it’s business,” Pal elaborated.
According to Indologist Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, Hindu-Muslim affiliation during the Durga Puja was not aberrant in absorbed Bengal.
“It has connected admitting bounded barriers because the anniversary now is a huge industry. It provides application to bodies from all communities. It’s alone some politicians and communal-minded bodies who accord it a altered spin. During immersions too, anybody comes calm to bid conge to the goddess and family. She is looked at as a antecedent of backbone and not as a religious symbol,” Bhaduri added.
And you don’t accept to attending added than Begampur boondocks in Hooghly commune to see several Muslim families adulatory Durga Puja as a attribute of the accepted ability of the anniversary that unites Hindus with added minorities, at atomic in Bengal.
(This adventure is allotment of a appropriate alternation that will advertise a diverse, plural and across-the-board India and has been fabricated accessible by a accord amid IANS and the Frank Islam Foundation. Sahana Ghosh can be contacted at [email protected])
( 771 Words)
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