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Durga Mahashtami: Muslim Girl Worshipped on Kumari Pujo   

A man in Kolkata set an example of unity in diversity by worshipping a Muslim girl on Kumari Pujo on Mahashtami.

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Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

Tamal Dutta, a state government employee in Kolkata, has set a classic example of unity in diversity by worshipping a Muslim girl during Kumari Pujo on the occasion of Durga Mahashtami.

Traditionally, Kumari Pujo is the worship of girls who have not yet attained puberty as the Goddess on Mahashtami on the second day of Durga Puja – the biggest festival in West Bengal.

The preparations to worship Fatima, the four-year-old ‘goddess’, began early in the morning at the house of Tamal Dutta in Baguihati, in the outskirts of Kolkata.

The women of the house applied alta (red dye) on the hands and feet of Fatima, She was decked up like a bride and made to sit on a chair in front of the idol of Goddess Durga. Fatima was then garlanded and worshipped.

‘Every Girl Is a Goddess’

Tamal Dutta, an engineer at Kamarhati Municipality, said that he’s been trying to break down the barriers of caste and communal acrimony for the previous few years.

“When I organise Durga Puja, if I create a divide between Hindus, Muslims and Christians, the puja will remain incomplete. The puja will be complete when every person is taken as a human being. All women and girls are incarnations of Maa Durga.”
Tamal Dutta, Government Employee

‘Sends a Message of Unity’

Fatima belongs to Fatehpur Sikri, a small city in the Agra district of Uttar Pradesh where her father, Mohd Tahir, runs a grocery shop. She had come to Kolkata two months previously to visit her maternal uncle. It was then that Tamil proposed the idea of worshipping her to her family. Fatima’s family agreed readily as they believed it would sent out a strong message of unity.

“When he (Tamal Dutta) approached me regarding the puja, I readily agreed. I believed that we should extensively participate in this as it will send a strong message of unity to society. It will send a message that in Bengal, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians stay in unity.”
Mohd Ahmed, Fatima’s Uncle

Fatima’s mother, Bushra Begum, was teary-eyed and overwhelmed. “It is unbelievable for any mother to see her daughter being worshipped as a goddess. I am very happy that Almighty blessed me with such a beautiful and adorable daughter,” said Bushra.

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