Bengal Durga Puja: NRC and partition themed pujas featured in Sherar Shera Puroshkar

News Desk: Durga pujas themed on the issues of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the partition of the country in 1947 featured among the list of “Serar Sera Puraskar” (Best of the best award) announced by the West Bengal government on Monday.

A puja themed on the farmer’s agitation was also selected for another category of the government’s “Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman” award.

Organising the Durga puja on contemporary themes is prevalent in the state for the past several years.

Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Indranil Sen announced that 36 Durga puja committees will get the award in the ”Best of the best” category for meeting the benchmark in aesthetics in every aspect.

The 36 pujas include those organised by Barisha Club, Naktala Udayan Sangha, Chetla Agrani, Ekdalia Evergreen in south Kolkata and Kashi Bose Lane in north Kolkata.

Barisha Club in Behala area has themed its puja on the NRC.

Titled ”Bhager Maa” (mother divided), the goddess is depicted as a mother who, with her four children, is being taken in a vehicle that looks like a cage. The marquee is divided into two parts, India and Bangladesh, and the mother and her children are in the no man’s land.

In the 75th year of independence, Naktala Udayan Sangha has themed its pandal on the migration of refugees by train during the partition of the country.

A train of that era was recreated to represent the plight of refugees. The depiction drew references from Khushwant Singh”s ”Train to Pakistan” and Bengali author Atin Bandyopadhyay”s ”Neelkantho Pakhir Khoje” (In search of Neelkanth bird) – two famous novels on the partition of the country.

The Durga puja theme of Dumdum Park Bharat Chakra in the eastern fringes of Kolkata is the farmers’ agitation. The club is the sole entry in the list for the ”Anya Bhavna” (Different thinking) category of the award.

The club depicted the farmers’ stir, placing a replica of a tractor on the path to the pandal. The tractor has two wings with the names of farmers killed in the agitation written on those.

The minister also announced the Biswa Bangla Awards in categories such as ”best pandal”, ”best idea” and ”Best Covid-19 awareness”.

The Alipore Bodyguards line Durga Puja, organised by members and families of the Kolkata Police, got the Best Covid Warrior honour.

The Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman award in various categories would also be given to puja committees in 20 districts outside Kolkata.