Kolkata celebrates Durga puja with much gusto marrying religion and art. Artistic expressions however can go hay wire in interpretation as was tasted by Mohammed Ali Park, one of the top durga puja pandals. Calcuttans love to do more with their pandal structures with each club designing their pandal around a theme. This reputed club’s theme this year was portraying the five sins of man. However, the substitution of an asura with the figurine of a doctor seems to have invited much wrath from the medical community.
The Facebook page of the club has received angry reviews questioning the purpose of fashioning a doctor as an asura.
“To portray doctors as Asura is weird and done in bad taste... Because the very people whose fertile imagination gave rise to this weird campaign will run to a doctor to treat them when they fall ill, and not rely on divine intervention!!!” commented Subarna Sarkar, a doctor herself.
The organizers however rebutted saying the idea was to warn people against quacks or fake doctors who practice medicine illegally. “We want people to be wary of fake doctors since there are so many of them. We do not want to show real doctors as villains,” said Naresh Kain, general secretary of Mohammed Ali Park.
The park over time has proved its mettle in artistic expression during durga puja being branded as one of the pandals in the city. The pandal was inaugurated by the Governor of the state, Kesharinath Tripathi last year and he is also expected to the same this year though politicians will be amiss this year.
Meantime, the medical community fumes with strong voices condemning the art installation and asking for its removal through a Facebook page, Boycott Md. Ali Park.
The club’s effort to debunk quacks seems to have been lost in artistic translation.