The Uttar Pradesh violence in Lakhimpur Kheri during a farmers’ protest has found an honourable mention in the theme based Durga Puja pandal in the northern periphery of Kolkata.
The Dum Dum Park Bharat Chakra Puja Committee revealed their innovative pandal on Mahalaya, that spotlighted farm law battle as well as Sunday’s Lakhimpur Kheri destruction.
A huge model of a tractor that is used by farmers to till the land is placed at the entrance of the pandal, symbolising their struggle.
The tractor has two wings attached that denotes freedom from bondage labour.
Anirban Das, the artist behind idea, told the news agency PTI that the names of farmers who lost their lives in the period of the agitation have been written in chits of paper on the giant tractor.
As devotees enters the pandal, the sidewalks are furnished by the sketch of a car and a farmer lying on its path, accompanied by a line in Bengali -- "motorgari uray dhulo niche pore chashigulo", that means that the car which leaves behind a swirl of dust while farmers fall under its wheels.
Hundreds of sandals or chappals lie on the ground of the pandal, which denotes the scenes from the farmers protest in which they face police action.
The news agency ANI cited the organiser that said, "From the days of Tebhaga movement to recent ones, the pandal showcases several farmers' protests."
A number of posters have been placed all over the puja pandal with slogans in both English and Bengali language.
One of the posters reads, "We are farmers, not terrorists, farmers are food soldiers".
The centre of the puja pandal is adorned with the models of paddy, hanging from the roof.
The secretary of Dum Dum Park Bharat Chakra Puja committee, Pratik Choudhury said they wanted to spotlight the exploitation of farmers.
Pratik Choudhury says, “We have sought to narrate the story of the farmers who provide the food to us."
The committee secretary said that the recent incident in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur Kheri, where four farmers were killed by a vehicle during a protest, happened when the puja pandal was almost completed. But, they incorporated the incident in it.
Although, this is not the first time in West Bengal's capital city that a Durga Puja theme based pandal has illustrated the present socio-economic and political issues.
This year, Durga Puja, which is celebrated from 'Sashthi' is on October 11 while Vijaya Dashami falls on October 15.