The changing aesthetics of Durgotsav: Then and now
Tarun Goswami writes how Durga Puja celebrations have altered through the years, with overwhelming changes in theme and idol-making, keeping intact the spirit and dynamism.
t the end of the 18th century, 12 Brahmin boys of Guptipara in Hooghly first conducted a Durga Puja by collecting subscriptions from local residents which came to be known as barowari puja ('baro' means 12 and 'yaar' refers to friends). However, the first Sarbojonin puja which saw the true participation of people from all walks of life, irrespective of caste, creed and social status, was held in Calcutta in 1926. It was aimed at creating a bond between the people of a nation still in bondage and the local youth.