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Environment to NRC highlights of Kolkata Durga carnival

Highlighting communal harmony, the National Register for Citizens and environmental issues as also other varied themes, 75 community puja organisers took part in a colourful parade of their award-winning idols in the annual Kolkata Durga carnival here on Friday on way to the immersion in the Hooghly river.
Environment to NRC highlights of Kolkata Durga carnival

The carnival, a brainchild of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in its fourth year, showcased the prominent idols from the city and the adjoining districts in the road show at the iconic Indira Gandhi Sarani - erstwhile Red Road - the venue of the Republic Day parade.

The over four hour long event, with the central theme of 'Rangamatir Desh' (Land of the Red Soil) saw the puja organisers also exhibiting samples of various artistic creations used in their puja marquees on vibrantly decorated tableaux.

All the community pujas selected for the road show, were winners of Bengal's 'Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman' award in various categories.

Banerjee, her cabinet colleagues, other political leaders, attended the event alongside a large number of celebrities from the city and foreign delegates.

Over 20,000 spectators watched the carnival on both sides of the road on occasion of the event, besides more than 70 lakh people all over the globe witnessing the one of a kind Durga Puja immersion carnival through live streaming in the social media.

The evening came alive with song and dance, as men and women - especially the youths - turned up in new designer kurtas, pyajamas, dhotis and sarees.

Many of the age-old community puja organisers came up with tableaux aligned with various current affairs topics. Their floats in the parade also reflected those themes.

Naw Para Dadabhai Sangha's immersion procession paid homage to senior citizens, as their parade was led by aged women on on wheelchairs. Banerjee came down from the dais to greet them. Their floats also gave the message of peace, saying "We don't want war, we want the Buddha."

Jagat Mukhrjee Park Durga Puja committee's parade promoted Hindu-Muslim unity as they recreated the Varanasi ghats, where "Bismillah khan" was seen playing the shehnai while Hindu priests performed arti.

Baghajatin Taru Sangha made a statement against against water pollution and pollution of the Ganga.

Against the backdrop of panic over a possible future NRC exercise gripping the state, Rajdanga Naba Uday Sangha puja committee's parade was built around the theme of "refugee".

Shuttlecocks, standing for refugees, and badminton rackets - representing two countries - were used to delineate the message of two countries lobbing the refugees to each other's side.

( With inputs from IANS )

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