Durga Puja Pandal : Reflection of Indian Art  (GS Paper 1 : Art and Culture )

Context : During Durga Puja festival, everywhere in Bengal, Durga puja pandals have been installed . We can easily observe the reflection of various types of arts and culture. We observe Pandal themes that range from Burj Khalifa to Bollywood and Kolkata in the 70s.

When we observe regarding  talent and ideas among our artist mainly sculpting artist, we see this talent is in abundance in the artist of Kolkata 

Significance of Durga Puja in West Bengal

  • Durga Pujais the only festival of Kolkata among the most celebrated festivals in Kolkata . Various types of the pandals during these festivals are installed everywhere in Kolkata . These Pandals are generally theme based pandals . These  Themes depict the various aspects of human life. These themes are drawn by various artists not only of India but also of abroad also.

  • Durga Puja is one of the biggest cultural event of India 

Various Themes 

  • During last year when we were facing the problem of the coronavirus pandemic, many artists showed this theme of coronavirus in their sculpture and in Pandals . Besides , the theme related to migrant workers was another theme which had attracted evry artist. The migrant mother theme which was fashioned by Barisha club in reflected the pathetic condition of the migrant workers 

  • For more than one year we have been facing the problem of coronavirus but still people could not be stopped by such a pandemic. People had shown their creativity and talent . This year various contemporary issues are also reflected in the themes of Durga Puja Pandal

  • In Behala’s Barisha Club, Durga Puja assumed a political stance. The idol was sculpted to look like a migrant mother. The theme for this year is ‘Bhaager Maa‘ (division of mother), and it specifically details the life of a family inside a detention camp. It has smartly played around the subject of the National Register of Citizens and the plight of people who find themselves as refugees.

  • Another important and contemporary theme was related to the protest of farmers . This theme had shown its solidarity with farmers. In this theme , the incident of Lakhimpur Khiri is also reflected in which many farmers were killed by the son of BJP home minister for state.

  • A puja   pandal in Kolkata has been crafted to mimic the harrowing episode.

  • There are many puja pandal which depict the science of 70s’ Bollywood. In hand-painted advertisements we see the image of old Bollywood heroes, scenes etc, 

  •  The theme has been aptly named ‘Phiria daou tulir tan‘, meaning, ‘give us back the brush stroke’ — a form of art which has been lost in the digital age.

  • Apart from this, the  Sreebhumi Sporting Club Dubai’s Burj Khalifa has also been depicted . The club has designed a 145-feet pandal which has been modelled to look like the iconic Dubai tower.

  •  The Hatibagan Sarbojanin Club has also installed a pandal based on the theme ‘Pichutan‘, which means a longing for something that you cannot go back to. Simply put, it recreates the Kolkata of the 70s. 

  • In the Bandhu Mahal Club in Baguiati, one idol has been installed with eyes of gold and another idol has been draped in a saree that has gold embroidery on it. 

  •  The puja pandal Nabin Pallyhas been designed as the Pandal reflecting its tribute  to those who died during the second wave of the Covid infection. Photos of the deceased, hanging urns and a Mahishasura with folded hands give a haunting reminder that the pandemic is the bigger evil to fight.

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