Cultural events across West Bengal during the Durga Puja days is a common phenomenon. But, with the Calcutta High Court’s declaring all the Puja pandals as “no-entry zones”, the celebrations have been halted this year.
However, a Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata’s Sat Lake was graced by a performance of Dona Ganguly, renowned dancer and wife of former India cricketer and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.
On Wednesday, she performed at the puja at Salt Lake EZCC, which has been organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Mahila Morcha and its cultural wing. The puja had been in the thick of controversy ever since it was announced.
Opposite parties, like the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Trinamool Congress (TMC), did not leave any chance to attack the saffron party for “politicising the festivity”.
CPI(M) and TMC alleged that BJP was mixing religion with politics as they claimed it had happened for the first time that a political party was officially associating itself with a religious festival.
Meanwhile, Ganguly’s gig was one among many during the eventful day at BJP Mahila Morcha’s puja. Singer-turned-BJP-MP Babul Supriya was seen performing before the Puja was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi on Wednesday inaugurated 10 pujas on the occasion of Shashti (believed to be the begining of the Durga Puja festival). He took part in commencement of Durga Puja celebrations in Kolkata via video link.
The Prime Minister also addressed the people of the state which was telecasted in every booth of the state’s 294 constituencies, following social distancing norms.
“The festival of Durga Puja is a festival that reflects unity and strength of India. It is also a reflection of the traditions and culture that comes from Bengal,” PM Modi said.
“We are celebrating Durga Puja in times of Covid-19, all devotees have shown exemplary restrain. The number of people might be less but the granduer and devotion are the same. The happiness and joy are still boundless. This is the real Bengal,” he said.