I can’t keep calm! Do you know why? Durga Puja is almost knocking at the doors. Yes, the biggest festival for Bengalis is just a few days away. Keeping a control over my excitement let me tell you why soil from prostitute area is used for making an idol of goddess Durga. Now, there is not one but about many reasons behind this practice.
India being a land of multiple gods, there are numerous rituals and traditions that are followed in different parts of the nation. While some of them have an origin story, the births of others are still unknown.
Every year, as the Durga Pujo comes to close Kumortuli in Kolkata comes alive. This is the place where majority of idols are created. The artists devote themselves to recreate the avatar of the devi. Don’t be surprised if I tell you that some of the idols from this place are also exported to countries like the US and USA.
Thanks to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas, most people now know that soil from the red light area is one of the main ingredients needed to create idols of Durga. The thing that baffles everyone is the answer. After all, the nation wants to know why punya maati (blessed soil) from the red light areas is so essential.
Call it hypocrisy or poetic justice, the soil actually symbolizes purity. Yes, the soil from those who are ‘impure’, according to the society, comes up as the main ingredient for creating goddess Durga’s idol. It is believed that when men visit prostitutes then they leave their virtue and purity outside the home of the lady. Hence, the soil becomes pavitra.
Another popular belief is that the prostitutes have chosen sin as their livelihood. The soil is a representation of their inclusion in the mainstream society that helps in cleaning all their sins. There are some who believes since goddess Durga is the mother to all, so how can she not include the prostitutes?
The process of asking for the soil is also very dramatic. The priest of a temple has to visit the red light area. Then they have to beg for the soil and the ladies can refuse. However, they have to collect the soil as without it the idol cannot be created. Sadly, this is an example of the hypocrisy at its highest. What do you think?