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Dear Bengal, Stay Home This Pujo Because Asche Bochhor Abar Hobe

Dear Bengal, be good Maa Durga bhakts and enjoy pujo responsibly!

Published
News Videos
2 min read

Cameraperson: Abhishek Ranjan
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Script: Ishadrita Lahiri

Durga Pujo is here!

But this is 2020, and like everything else, Durga Pujo, too, is...or well, should be a little different.

Sadly, from the looks of it, Bengal is not too willing to forego the year's biggest ‘party’ despite India climbing the ladder of COVID-19 cases rapidly.

It's time to show the world how festivals can be done responsibly and sensibly. Because guess what? It isn't cool to expect Maa Durga to save everyone from the dreaded "Corona-asur".

So, before you even think about stepping out, here are a couple of things you can keep in mind:

  • To begin with, maybe remember that the Calcutta High Court has clearly said that pandals are no-entry zones for visitors. So, you might as well be at home and appreciate the efforts of local news channels and their 24x7 sharodiya specials and do your thakur dekha on television.
  • If you are one of these people who have been flocking at the shopping malls, then we reckon that not going out is probably not even an option you’re considering. In that case, remember to add the hand sanitizer to your make-up bag. And yes, make sure to get a matching mask for every new attire you buy.
  • Since you’re out anyway, maybe it’s a good idea to video call the elderly who, we hope, are staying home and are unable to be a part of the festivities this year.
  • Which brings me back to why you being outside is not a good idea. Because, during a pandemic, large scale gatherings like the pujo is expected to put everyone at risk, including those who make your festival special.

At the time of recording this video, West Bengal is still seeing a steady rise in the daily number of COVID-19 cases as well as deaths. Between 1 September and 20 October, the state saw over thousand COVID-19 deaths. Nearly 20 percent of its total death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.

The burden of the healthcare system is ever-increasing and at this time the state government has announced a Rs 185 crore dole for the festival. As you celebrate with your loved ones, ask yourself if a “poor state”, as Mamata Banerjee herself called West Bengal while announcing this dole, can afford this during a health and economic crisis.

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Well, let's be honest. These guidelines have clearly more to do with the state elections in 2021 than the pandemic. A decision by Mamata Banerjee that seem to be triggered by the politicisation of Pujo by the BJP, that started much before you got around to buying your first pujor jama.

Fake forwards claiming that there will be night curfew on Puja days were circulated and widely believed, causing anxiety to the average Kaku-Kakima.

So much so, that to counter this, Mamata said she will do a 100 sit-ups if anyone proves that she’s talked about “cancelling Durga Puja”.

Maney, basically, in the midst of vote-bank politics and the pandemic, as usual, it is you who has the most to lose. So, be a good Maa Durga bhokto, and enjoy pujo responsibly. And, like we bongs love to say: remember this is Durga Pujo, ASCHE BOCHHOR ABAR HOBE.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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