The month of Durga puja has begun. Starting from Mahalaya and lasting till Diwali, there will be magic and joy in the air. Each gully in Kolkata will have pandal to bring communities together. Some will set trends by bringing in creative innovative ideas in the decoration and design of the pandal or the statue. But this year, the idea of an idol that Udyami Yubak Brinda Durga Puja has come up with is all set to make history.
The Huffington Post reports that with the help of the Pratyay Gender Trust, a local transgender collective, this Durga Puja pandal will have India’s first transgender Durga idol. The idol will be fashioned after the Ardhanarishvar or half Shiv half Parvati.
Pratyay Gender Trust’s Facebook page proudly declares, “We are conscious how sites of worship and associated rituals have Brahminical associations and a site of misogyny, prejudice and violence. Ours is an attempt to question these practices and caste/class structures and to cross gender lines – as ‘women’ and ‘outcastes’ – who have traditionally been barred from taking part in integral aspects of socio-religious functions such as Durga Pujas – where decision making powers and participation has by and large remained in the control of men – powerful and upper caste/class.”
We solemnly hope the transgender avatar of goddess Durga helps good triumphs over evil, equality triumph over discrimination, and proves as a stepping stone towards overcoming the stigma attached to transgenders in our country.
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