Scenes from 'Sindoor Khela' in Kolkata
Scenes from 'Sindoor Khela' in Kolkata

Durga Puja: Transgenders break traditions, take part in 'Sindoor Khela'

ANI | Updated: Oct 19, 2018 22:39 IST

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], Oct 19 (ANI): Like a final flicker of a lamp before it extinguishes, Bengali women participate in 'Sindoor Khela' on Vijaydashami as a final indulgence in the intoxicating Durga Puja celebrations.
However, participation in the merry-making activity was, for ages, exclusively reserved for married women. Highlighting the society's evolving mindset, a number of puja committees have in recent times opened the doors for unmarried women, widows, transgenders and sex workers to take part in the 'Sindoor Khela' and bid farewell to Goddess Durga.
Thus, breaking away from the shackles of traditions, women and transgenders in Kolkata's Sonagachi were seen frolicking as they applied Sindoor on each other during the Sindoor Khela.
After the five-day long affairs of the Durga Puja, Bengal gears up to bid Goddess Durga adieu on the tenth day, or Dashami. Rounds of pujas are followed by feeding the goddess sweets and betel leaves, after which, the idol is immersed. Women take part in the 'Sindoor Khela' event after the 'Ghot Bisharjon'.
Instances like these will surely be perceived as morale-boosting for those advocating for societal reforms since years. In hindsight, India has witnessed an acceleration in the society freeing itself from centuries-old restrains in recent times.
The scrapping of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code by the Supreme Court on September 6 to decriminalise homosexuality was a huge win for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) community in India, as stigmas attached with the community were a major hindrance for a 'normal' life.
Criminalising gay sex is irrational and indefensible, had observed then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra while delivering the landmark verdict, adding that the LGBTQ community has the same rights as any other citizen.
Keeping the spirit of the festival and sending out a strong message that Godess Durga does not discriminate, transgenders and sex workers also bid farewell to Maa this year. (ANI)

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