Kolkata: The person behind the idea of Durga idol of Behala’s Barisha Club representing migrant worker as Maa Durga with her children was Rintu Das.
The whole theme was conceptualised by Rintu Das and the idol was sculpted by Pallab Bhowmick. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and joblessness, thousands of migrant workers from accross the country walked hundreds of kilometres on foot to reach their homeland.
Rintu is also a renowned art director and had designed various theme-pandals in Kolkata.
The Durga Idol wears no jewellery and does not carry weapons like the Goddess Durga. She holds sacks of food grains in her hand which is a weapon to fight with ‘asur’ in the face of hunger.
The idol is not made of mud, instead, it is made with fibreglass which can be preserved for some years. It took almost two months for Pallab to sculpt the idol.
The idol is seen standing in the centre, where usually Maa Durga is placed. Along with her, on both sides, two young girls- one representing Lakshmi (Lokkhi) who is holding an owl in her arms and other girl represents Saraswati along with a swan in her hands. Also, a young boy which she is holding signifies Karthik.
Like all those migrant workers, she also takes the charge to travel with her children fighting with every odds. The idol shows the goddess as an ordinary Indian rural woman. This indicates that when the situation gets worse, a woman is capable to fight against any problem to protect her family.
The concept for the idol came to him when during the lockdown. “Whenever I switched on the TV during this time, I could only see migrant workers walking night after night without food or water. I wanted to worship these workers. I thought to myself, they represent my Durga who walked long distances with their children,” Rintu was quoted as saying by India Today.
Netizens on social media were mesmerised by the message and came forward to applaud the artwork.
Pallab Bhowmick’s Ma Durga for the Pujo this year, as a migrant worker with her children.
Very evocative. pic.twitter.com/aAlJVI9XKO
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) October 16, 2020
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) October 16, 2020
Yes ppl this is #Kolkata❤️
To pay tribute to the migrant workers and their acute hardships, Kolkata Pujo Pandal replaces Durga idol with Migrant mother. Much much love to the Artist Pallab Bhowmick. pic.twitter.com/ppyGul90vr
— joymala bagchi (@joymalabagchi) October 16, 2020
Though, in between so much popularity, Rintu also faced criticism for copying the concept form Bikash Bhattacharjee’s ‘Darpamoyee‘.
It is inspired by legendary artist Bikash Bhattacharya's 1989 painting titled "Dwarpamoyee" from his Durga series (left)
Courtesy: Debraj Goswami / FB pic.twitter.com/KRfRGgEEAa
— ইন্দ্রজিৎ | Indrajit (@iindrojit) October 17, 2020
On this, he said, “I don’t deny that I was inspired by Bhattacharjee’s Darpamayee. It is not right to call it copied.My concept was of course inspired by his painting. I gave shape to my idea through a different medium. His was a painting, mine is a sculpture. There is nothing similar about the composition.”
Although, widespread appreciation and applaud proved that art has no boundaries. Kolkata is all-set and the preparation is on full-swing for this year’s Durga Puja keeping COVID-19 protocols in mind.