Mrunal Manmay Dash

Millennium City Cuttack takes pride in its heritage, diverse culture and festivities. And festive season, especially the Durga puja is an apt time to showcase the same to the world; puja committees make sure of that.

While some puja mandaps adorn Goddess Durga in silver and golden tableaux, there are some other puja committees that display impeccable communal harmony and bond by including people from other communities and religions too. And there are some others who take patriotism to a whole new level by worshipping Bharat Mata on their puja pandals.

Bakhrabad Durga puja committee in the millennium city is such a place where nationalism and patriotism has taken centre stage as the members have put ‘Bharat Mata’ on the pandal instead of Goddess Durga.

The President of the puja committee said, “Bakhrabad is a unique ‘sahi’ in Cuttack where residents are highly motivated in nationalism and patriotism. Freedom fighters and intellectuals like Ramadevi and Nabakrushna Choudhury were born here. Poet like Laxmikanta Mohapatra was also born here.”

“As per our belief, we consider our Nation as Bharat Mata. Freedom Fighter Arvind Ghose had said that India is not only land mass and rivers. Behind the existence of this Nation, there is blessing of a Mother whom he termed as Goddess Durga or Maa Bhawani. Bharat Mata is an incarnation of Goddess Durga. That is why we worship her at our pandal,” he added.

The Secretary of the puja committee said, “We try to inculcate different themes in our puja. This year we are going to include three girls who will be dressed like Goddess Durga during immersion.”

It is pertinent to mention here that irrespective of their religious beliefs, people from the minority community have been working as the office-bearers of many Durga puja committees in Cuttack.

As per reports, people from the Muslim community are now holding key posts in Jobra, Mangalabag, Tulasipur, Sutahata, Alishabazar and many other Puja committees.

  • Reported by:
  • Biswajit Acharya