We have the proud privilege of introducing us as a pioneer organization of community Durgapuja in Kolkata and suburbs had come together under one umbrella in 2010. All major pujas in and around Kolkata are directly associated with us and majority medium sized puja organizers are in directly tagged with us. Accordingly we represent almost all the community pujas in and around our beloved city of joy. The name of the association is “Forum for Durgotsab”.
We are aware that during this festive season few crores of rupees are transacted majority of which is distributed among the have-not classes. The circulation of money involved in such puja is important for the economic resurgence of our beloved state.
We are also aware that during the four days festival period, all eyes within the country as well as aboard are focused on it through different Media to share the festivities and joy with the people of Bengal. Many people from other States as well as other Countries visit Kolkata at the time to take part in this colorful event.
We trust and sincerely believe that all section of administrative authority and people of Bengal will be with us to hold the Durga festival in joyfull mood.
When the arrangements for organizing the Durga Puja are all finalized and construction work of the Pandal has begun, suddenly we find that the State administration becomes active. The Police, Fire Brigade and the CESC officials make repeated visits either individually or jointly. Each authority gives its own set of suggestions which become next to impossible to implement at the eleventh hour. Out of frustration, at times we feel it would be better if we gave up the whole idea of organizing the Puja, since implementing the various suggestions would involve starting all the arrangements afresh.
As soon as the Puja is over, we already start to plan for the next year. The actual implementation of the plans takes place as early as three months before the Puja. Payment to the artistes has to be made well in advance and if plans are changed in the last moment as per the whims and caprices of the authorities, the entire amount already spent is liable to go down the drain.
It is the usual practice that every year the Police authorities call a meeting of the Puja committees where the representatives of the Fire Brigade, Municipality, PWD, Electricity supply are also present and the guidelines are given. But to our utter surprise we are finding that even after strictly adhering to the guidelines, the various authorities under the influence of powerful lobbies are making visits to the pandals under the pretext of ‘’observation” and are issuing new instructions which becomes almost impossible for us to implement at this stage. The attitude displayed by the authorities is that of a judge convicting a criminal which is downright insulting to us. At times we feel that in order to save our self esteem probably it would be better if we gave up the idea of the Puja altogether.
In order to save ourselves from this kind of harassment, we have been constrained to create an association called the “Forum for Durgotsab”. When the various committees become targets of the administration, the Forum would take up their cause and even take legal recourse if necessary. This Forum would work throughout the year to preserve and maintain a healthy environment so that Pujas are conducted smoothly both in the city and in the suburbs. For this we earnestly seek the help and cooperation of the administration and the electronic/print media.
In order to ensure smooth conduct of the Pujas, we have come up with a set of demands which would be placed with the administrative authorities. We would like to bring those demands to their attention through your kind intervention:-
Durga Puja is not the sole responsibility of any particular organizer/committee. We undertake this monumental task for the sake of the general populace and to preserve our festival and culture. The responsibility to make it a success lies both with the organizers as well as the administration. The media also has a role to play here since you are the eyes and ears of the people. Your guidance is invaluable for us.
Come; with our collective efforts let us make the ensuing Durga Puja a grand success. Let the auspicious arrival of the Mother Goddess spread cheer and happiness all around.