The rising number of cases of violence against women has prompted organisers of Durga Puja in Kolkata to portray women empowerment and project rapists as ‘Mahisasura’, the demon who is slayed by the goddess.
"We want to show the evil forces or demons of mythical times have returned to plague today's women in the form of rapists. These men are now the Mahisasuras," one of the organisers said.
Organisers of a community puja in upscale Salt Lake area have put up 11 forms of Goddess Durga out of which 10 are seen slaying demons who are portrayed as rapists trying to outrage the modesty of women.
"Our theme is to finish rapists everywhere in the world. Durga is known for eradicating evil forces and now one of the biggest evil plaguing our society are those of violence against women," Pradip Sengputa, president of FD block puja committee said.
One of the demons is portrayed as a man wearing a suit and eyeing a woman. The man's face is that of a demon and Durga is shown attacking him with a trident.
"Through symbolic means we are trying to portray that rapes unfortunately happen in all kinds of places. Our women are suffering and now good people in the society should rise to the occasion and protect them," he said.
Another eminent puja organiser in Bhawanipur has weaved a 5km long handloom saree out of 250kg of thread to portray the need to protect the dignity of women.
"We all want to take shelter in our mother's 'aanchal' whenever we feel unsafe irrespective of our age. But now are mothers and sisters are in danger as instances of violence against them are on the rise. In this 5km long saree we are talking about the need for empowerment of women," said Subir Das, secretary of Bhawanipur 75 Palli Sorbojanin Durgotsav Committee.