Puja and Politics

Durga Puja is the most important celebrated festival of Bengalis. Though the corona outbreak has reached its worst level still couldn’t reach to level to stop the celebration. The Bengal government themselves has provided an amount of Rs. 50,000 to each pandal group for the expenditure of puja pandals making. The Chief Minister of West Bengal also added,

This year people can visit pandals from the night of Tritiya [at least two days earlier than normal] until the night of Ekadasi [one day later than normal]. We will put coronavirus in lockdown [sic] and hold Durga Puja. We are inviting everyone to join the festivities in the open air.”

Tsunami of COVID infections”

In the year of 2021, the state is slated to go to polls since the Bjp party has arisen as an opposition of Trinamool congress so the polls have been expected to be fought based on communal lines. And the only chance by which bjp can win is by polarising the public by religion and getting Hindu votes in their favour

In such circumstances, CM Mamta is unlikely to go tough on the states for the biggest Hindu festival of the country. Her Critics see her as a pro-minority at these times so if she restrains the puja in any way the critics will definitely pounce on her but unfortunately there is no such circumstances can occur now. As everyone knows populism is the sine qua non of her politics. Taking everything together the state of West Bengal seems poised to drop further on the rank-list of COVID-19 situation of Indian states’.

In an online meeting, the team of Wire Science spoke to the 3 healthcare professionals to assess the risks during the puja at the present stage. All 3 professionals believed that:

“Public health should come before political opportunism.”

The celebration of Durga Puja at these times is potentially catastrophic as its hallmark is nothing but the crowd as in pandals a large crowd inside confined spaces in a humid atmosphere is the worst sign of a dark future for the state. The spread of the virus will be so rapid that the mask will be totally useless.

Circumstances like if people from the state’s less affected districts come to Kolkata or travel to different parts of the state as visitors or to work at pandals, comes in contact with the novel coronavirus and then take it back home, the new susceptible populations could be exposed to the virus, and the state’s case-load will turn just the worst situation.

Is Puja celebration a good option?

The answer to this is definitely NO.

“Like online education, this year should be an online devotion celebration”.

Just like other festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, etc. festivals Durga puja should be celebrated in a new normal virtual way, the spirit should be “Puja should be celebrated but with one’s family at home”

The festival of eastern India, Durga Puja, is a festival that is celebrated socially, which cuts down all the conflicts of caste, religion, affairs, economic lines, etc. Presently, according to the government steps the physical celebration though is permitted but we as an individual should understand the cause and stand to celebrate it virtually though it’s tough to imagine but to avoid the drastic scenario post puja celebration this is the only way we can resist the temptation.

Every mother loves her child, a mother is omnipresent. Therefore you do not need to go to a pandal to seek the blessings of Goddess Durga. If you take care of your own health and the society, Durga Mata will definately bless you abundantly. Either ways different Facebook groups are organising Online Darshan from different temples across the Country. Instead of Garba programs held in open groundsbut this year people are conducting it virtually. Sometimes, it is important to adapt yourself to change for your own safety.

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