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From Didi to Diety: Mamata Banerjee’s followers go way too far, design Durga idol as didi

From the universal sister, or Didi as she is popularly called, Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, has been elevated to the stature of a goddess.

Around Durga Puja every year Bengal prepares itself to witness the most spectacular innovations in the making of pandals and idols of the goddess. However, this year, a puja committee in Chakdaha, in the Nadia district of West Bengal, seems to have been quite carried away and recreated Goddess Durga in the likeness of the chief minister, with twelve hands instead of the usual ten.

Wearing Banerjee’s trademark attire of sari and slippers, this imitation of the chief minister has two of her hands folded, while each of the ten remaining arms brandish a government scheme she has launched since she came to power. The backdrop to this fibreglass image is a map of West Bengal, with its districts marked out.

The 5’5″ idol was inaugurated today at the Prantik Club and is expected to draw in the crowds. The CM is reportedly quite busy this festive season. From releasing a song she penned for the occasion to painting the third eye on an idol of the goddess, she has a packed schedule, having already inaugurated over two dozen pujas.

Success stories on show

There are depictions of ten “success stories” of her government, such as Yuvasree [youth welfare project], ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ initiative, super speciality hospital, and Biswa Bangla along with the Singur land agitation. On the right side of Ms. Banerjee’s idol is a miniature of the abandoned Tata Motors factory shed, and on the left, the people of Singur are shown rejoicing.

“The way they are placed, if properly illuminated, the display would appear as if the Chief Minister is holding the projects,” said Sudhir Pal, the artist who designed the idol. Mr. Pal, an admirer, designed such an idol in 2011, soon after Ms. Banerjee’s first State election victory.

Indologist and expert on Bengal’s religious festivals, Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri said: “I don’t think a politician has been depicted as Durga before. But there are several instances of Durga idols being made with faces resembling film actresses.” Mr. Bhaduri said that being a “supporter”, he could not say whether it is “right or wrong” to depict her in such a manner.

This one of a kind Durga-like idol of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has created quite a buzz. It depicts all the work she’s done in the past five years.

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