Kolkata: Amid a dampened festive mood owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Durga Puja committees in Kolkata are coming up with various unique and creative ideas for the pandals. Also Read - Chinese President Xi Jinping Replaces 'Asur' in Bengal's Durga Idol; Picture Goes Viral
In one such pandal in West Bengal’s Murshidabad, an idol of ‘Asura’ which bears a striking similarity to Chinese President Xi Jinping has gone viral on social media. People have immensely praised the idol maker for his ‘creativity’ of putting Xi Jinping’s face in place of the demon’s, in the wake of border stand-off between India and China.
However, it turns out that the ‘Asura’ was not modelled after Xi Jinping but was inspired by the Mongolians.
Clarifying about the same, club member Sanjay Chandra told India Today, “We make the Asuras inspired by different races every year. We have made Asuras inspired by the Greeks and South Africans before. This year, the artist who makes the idol for us was inspired by the Mongolians. We have not made this idol on any political issue. In fact, the club authorities were not involved in the theme, the idea was conceptualised by the artist.”
In the structure, artisan Ashim Pal has kept all the other idols intact, with Durga in the centre and her children Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartik on both sides. She is also seen riding the lion, but just beside it, in place of the demon, one can see a male figure that is missing its head. Due to its uncanny similarity with the Chinese President, netizens dubbed the ‘Asura’ as Xi Jinping and lauded the pandal for giving a ‘befitting reply’ to the Chinese.
Meanwhile, ‘coronavirus’ themed pandals have become the latest craze in West Bengal and are being praised for highlighting topical issues. In a Covid-themed pandal in Behala, Kolkata, Goddess Durga has been depicted as a woman migrant worker whereas a Siliguri artist reimagined Maa Durga as a doctor killing ‘coronasur’.