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Padmaavat to inspire theme in mega community Durga puja in Kolkata

To honour freedom of expression, the famous Sreebhumi Sporting Club of Kolkata has decided to have Padmaavat as theme for its Durga puja pandal in 2018.  

kolkata Updated: Feb 06, 2018 15:51 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
Padmaavat,Kolkata,Durga Puja
A still from the movie starring Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor.

The Karni Sena’s agitation against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat and its opposition by Trinamool Congress are all set to become the theme of one of the biggest community Durga pujas in Bengal this year.

The famous puja organised by Sreebhumi Sporting Club in east Kolkata enjoys the patronage of Sujit Bose, the heavyweight Trinamool MLA from Bidhannagar assembly constituency. The organisers have decided to have Padmaavat as theme for the four-day festival which will commence on October 15 and conclude with Vijaya Dashami on October 19. The puja is known for its big-budget themes that draw millions of people every year.

Read: Manikarnika faces opposition: Is Kangana’s film heading the Padmaavat way?

“Padmaavat is the most discussed subject at the moment and its impact is expected to be felt for some more time. There is another reason for having Padmaavat as the theme. People of Bengal believe in freedom of expression, especially when it comes to art. This belief is part of our culture. That is why the film released so smoothly in Bengal and is running without any trouble while the rest of the country is witnessing unrest. We want to honour this spirit of our people, ” said Basu.

In 2017, Sreebhumi Sporting Club in Kolkata recreated a replica of Mahishmati seen in Bahubali. (Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)

The film’s collection has already crossed Rs 200 crore. In most cities, viewers have opined that the ruckus is unnecessary and there is nothing in the movie that can hurt the sentiments of any community. Some film critics in fact have said the movie has glorified Jauhar (self- immolation by Rajput women to protect honour).

This is not the first time Sreebhumi has drawn inspiration from movies.In 2017, the pandal was modelled after the sets of the blockbuster Bahubali 2. The puja witnessed a record turnout.

Read: Deepika, Ranveer’s Padmaavat is now Rs 200 cr film

Ever since controversies over Padmavati (later renamed Padmaavat) started, Trinamool supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee took a tough stand against the Karni Sena’s violent movement.

She not only assured smooth release of the big-budget movie in Bengal but also condemned the movement as “an attempt to curb freedom of expression.” Banerjee instructed the administration to keep troublemakers at bay. Police personnel were deployed at multiplexes and cinema halls.

Read: I’ve never identified with the emotion of fear; was never scared: Deepika Padukone

Even the youth wing of the Congress in Bengal sprang into action to gain political mileage. Youth Congress supporters distributed free tickets on the day of release. Till date, not a single untoward incident has been reported from any part of the state and ‘house full’ signs have become a common sight.

First Published: Feb 06, 2018 15:51 IST