Durga Puja speaks for homosexuals, transgenders
Curiosity over pandal with focus on ending ostracisation
A Durga Puja in south Kolkata has become significant as it has taken up the marginalisation of homosexuals as its theme, in wake of the Supreme Court’s verdict decriminalising homosexuality. The plight of homosexuals and the transgender community will be highlighted with the use of medical instruments such as saline bottles, tubes and bandages, which will symbolise the mental wounds inflicted on homosexuals by society, puja committee members of the Barobagan Cultural Association in Behala said.
When visitors walk through small corridors, life-size clay models with loudspeaker cones in place of heads will great them. Through them, recordings of human voices resembling taunts and jeers faced by homosexuals and transgenders will be played.
Inside the main several wooden cut-outs of a face with the combined features of a goat and a man will be placed opposite the dais, upon which the main idol will be located. These cut-outs are meant to symbolise a scapegoat.
“Homosexuals and transgender people are often made scapegoats by society. These cut-outs represent their ordeal,” Upashona Chatterjee, the artist constructing the
The main dais, where the
pandal, pandal The Hindu.
Durga idol is placed, will have several saline bottles and tubes hanging from the wall of the Signboards with ‘Is homosexuality a crime?’ written in Bengali with red ink will be placed on both sides of the dais.
pandal. Why this theme
The idea to pick up the theme first struck Ms. Chatterjee last December when she was travelling in bus. “One of the passengers got extremely angry when another passenger, a homosexual, touched him accidentally. Then I decided to take up the theme,” she said.
Members of the puja committee initially objected but later agreed. “The theme has generated a lot curiosity among the locals. Although they did not object, they were certainly a bit surprised,” said Brindabon Paul, secretary of the puja committee.
Artist Upashona Chatterjee working on the idol.