Women aren’t allowed in this Kali Puja in Kolkata, once a hub of secular Left politics
Kolkata, Nov 3: The controversy over the Supreme Court's verdict of allowing women to enter the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala has snowballed for some time now. But there is a similar instance in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, which has remained a hub of secular Left politics till recently. A Kalipuja is organised in the city's Chetla Hut Road area where no woman has been allowed to enter in the last 34 years because they are considered to be 'unclean'.
According to a report in Bengali daily Ananda Bazar Patrika, the organisers of the particular Puja have said that whatever rituals their predecessors have started, they have been following. The women too have not challenged the rituals for they fear it could lead to inauspicious outcomes, the report added.
According to experts, women do not engage in Kali Puja because they don't have the right to chant 'Beejmantra' (secret mantra) but there is no rule to bar them from entering the Puja Mandapa.
Renowned researcher Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, however, criticised such anti-women rules and said it was nothing but a raw patriarchal expression.
The organisers of the Puja said it was started by tantriks (occultists) from Tarapith, a pilgrimage site in Bengal for the devotees of Goddess Kali, 34 years ago and since they warned against allowing women to join the Puja, it has continued like it over the years.
This year, Kali Puja falls on November 6, a day before Diwali.