Kolkata: Leaving a mark across the world stage, a mesmerising grand carnival showcasing the year's top award-winning Durga Pujas on Red Road in Kolkata on Tuesday evening spread the message of unity and communal harmony.
Thousands gathered along the stretch that was decked up with decorative lights which witnessed creativity of art to the brim in which around 67 Durga Puja organisers participated taking their respective Durga idols on tableaus before immersion at Babu Ghat. At the same time, lakhs of people from all across the world witnessed the second edition of the carnival live on social networking sites.
The extravaganza began at 5 pm soon after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reached the venue. The event commenced with a dance performance of a troop led by eminent Odissi dancer Dona Ganguly.
Banerjee congratulated the Puja organisers who marched ahead of their respective tableaus clad in traditional dhoti and kurta on Red Road from Fort William end towards Police Memorial. Women participants blew conch shells and spread flowers while marching along the Red Road, both sides of which was decorated with special lighting arrangements and flowers.
Senior ministers including the state Education minister Partha Chatterjee, Power minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, MP Sudip Banerjee, Minister of State for Information and Cultural Affairs department Indranil Sen, Chief Secretary Malay De, Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya, Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purakayastha, Commissioner of Kolkata Police Rajeev Kumar and several foreign delegates were present to witness the carnival.
Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim was also clad in traditional dhoti and kurta and marched ahead of the tableaus of Chetla Agrani along with state Youth Services and Sports Minister Aroop Biswas.
This year, the effort of Puja organisers in utilising the platform of the Red Road carnival to spread social messages through different art forms caught immense attention.
Amidst colossal Durga idols on tableaus, members of all age groups representing their respective organisations that participated in the carnival presented song and dance. Most of their performances were based on communal harmony. It may be mentioned that the Chief Minister too had repeatedly said communal peace and harmony is the tradition that Bengal is carrying forward year after year.
Singer Abhijeet played drums ahead of the tableau of Sree Bhumi Sporting Club. Actress Subhasree's performance at the beat of drums played by Abhijeet got huge applause from the audience. The Chief Minister welcomed both of them to the main podium after their performances.
The fireworks on tableaus itself was something that people witnessed for the first time this time besides the performances of traditional art forms including baul, chhau, kirtan, Santhali dance and ghoti dance.
Chetla Alapi Club that won the Biswa Banga Sarod Samman for best branding was the first one to pass along the Red Road amid huge cheer. The Puja organisers had prepared altogether a separate tableau to promote the forthcoming FIFA Under-17 Football World Cup on which children clad in jerseys participated, juggling footballs.
At the same time, the Durga Puja organisers didn't forget to congratulate the Chief Minister for her immense success in implementing projects like Kanyashree and Sabuj Sathi. In the end, a delegation from South Korea met the Chief Minister and greeted her.