Kolkata family set to worship Muslim girl for Kumari Puja


The Puja of Dutta Family in North 24 Parganas.  PHOTO/Special Arrangement

Ma Durga has no caste, creed or religion, say couple

Moushumi and Tamal Dutta barely have a minute to spare as prepare for the Durga Puja celebrations in their house in the Baguihati area of Kolkata. The Duttas are set to rewrite history as they plan to worship a Muslim girl child as part of Kumari Puja, a ritual that takes place on Mahaashtami, the eighth day of Durga Puja, on Sunday.

When the Duttas commenced their Durga Puja in 2013, they decided to break away from every tradition. They have worshipped girls of different castes and religions as Kumari to make the celebrations as inclusive as possible.

“Ma Durga has no caste, creed or religion. We are worshipping the child as Ma and motherhood has no religion. Hinduism is a liberal religion and we shouldn’t be rigid,” said Ms. Dutta.

‘Happily agreed’

When Mr. Dutta, an engineer at the Kamarhati Municipality in North 24 Paraganas, asked his colleague Mohammed Ibrahim about a Muslim girl child they could worship, the latter immediately thought of Fatima, his 4-year-old niece. Mr. Ibrahim broached the subject with his older brother Imran, and then with his sister Bushra Bibi, Fatima’s mother. Everyone in the family “happily agreed” to let Fatima, who is yet to start school, be worshipped as the ‘Kumari’ (a virgin and unmarried girl). They sent a picture of Fatima to the Duttas and made all the arrangements to bring her to Baguihati, on the eastern edge of the city.

“I share a good relation with sir [Mr. Dutta], so when he asked me if he could worship my niece, I was very happy,” Mr. Ibrahim said.

Following this, Bushra Bibi and Fatima, who belong to a lower-middle income family, were brought to Kolkata from their house in Agra. Mr. Ibrahim said his sister was “honoured by this invitation” and all of them looked forward to having a unique Puja. They are currently staying at Mr. Ibrahim’s house in Kamarhati.

The Hindu for more

Comments are closed.