Kolkata: The transgender community here is celebrating Durga Puja for the sixth year with much devotion and show, especially after the Supreme Court verdict in same-sex marriage case.
The positive verdict of the five- judge bench about the concept of marriage for the people of the community has made the organizers Garima Griho (A home of Pride), a shelter home for the people from the transgender community, even more enthusiastic about the event this time.
Goddess Durga is worshipped as ‘Ardhanariswara’ here, which again has multiple concepts. The head of Garima Griho and a leading face of transgender rights activism in West Bengal Ranjita Sinha told IANS that Ardhanariswara is a combination of the strengths of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva.
“Everywhere Lord Shiva is worshipped along with Devi Durga. But the idol or picture of Lord Shiva is kept at a distance from the main and traditional structure of Durga idol, with Mahisasura, Laxmi, Saraswati, Kartikeya and Ganesha. But for us Lord Shiva is inseparable from Devi Durga and in fact both are one,” Sinha said.
For another active associate of Garima Griho Puja and a leading social rights activist Anurag Maitrayee there is a second concept of Ardhanariswara, besides that of the combined strength of Devi Durga and Lord Shiva. “Ardhanariswara means the symbol of universal motherhood, where the concept of motherhood is limited within the boundaries of the concept of just biological female,” Maitrayee said.
There is a third unique point of the Garima Griho Puja. Unlike other Pujas, the idol is not immersed on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami. Rather it is restored throughout the year at one corner of the shelter home.
According to the organizers, the concept of immersion involves the pain of separation from Devi Durga and her family for a full year. “As for us, we are isolated from society to a great extent. So, we do not want to burden ourselves with the additional pain of separation through immersion,” Sinha said.