First Transgender Durga Idol Made by Woman Artist
- JWB Post
- October 17, 2015
Among the countless Durga Puja pandals set in Kolkata, there will be one which is unique in many ways.
Yes, you are welcome to offer your prayers to India’s first transgender Durga idol which is half male and half female. What more? This idol is created by the only woman idol maker of India, who has been the one to give face to the deity and make her a perfect embodiment of the gender equality and harmony.
In association with the transgender community, the Udyami Yubak Brinda Durga Puja committee in Kolkata has come up with this initiative, where the idol is styled as ardhnarishwar, a union of both shiva and parvati.
Well, what more? In the organizing community are one dozen transgender women from Pratyay, the NGO that is throwing its support behind the Puja.
In a country where transgender people are still looked down upon and often discriminated, this is certainly a leap towards a better future. China Pal, the person who has modeled the idol from clay, is also the only woman artist to make idols of gods and goddesses.
As the news about this first of its kind durga puja broke, hordes of people have also started to come in, pledging their support. People from the transgender community say that the reason behind organizing this puja is to break most of the stereotypes.
The idea is to stray away from all the rituals that say that offering prayers is the exclusive right of Brahmins and transgenders shouldn’t take part in the proceedings in the festival.
Well, it is not that holding this special puja was a cakewalk for the transgender community. They faced opposition from many quarters with people saying that how can the idol of goddess durga be created as a transgender?
One half of the idol has a moustache, a pectoral instead of a breast, smaller eyelashes, and is seen wearing a dhoti.
But it is with this fusion of both the masculine and feminine self, that the essential message of equality can be spread. Kudos to this brave idea and in coming times, hopefully it will find many more supporters in the society.