Why Is A Transgender Performing Chakshu Dakshina In Pujo This Year

Post the bold judgement on 377 by the Supreme Court of India, a conversation has started in the society. It will take a long time for the complete acceptance of homosexuality and to give the community the respect they really deserve. One of the most oppressed community has been the transgenders. They really struggle to achieve even the basic needs of a human being. Bringing a change in the age-old thought process and superstitions is going to be a gradual step-by-step task.

The one state which has started taking taking these gradual steps is West Bengal. Recently, a couple of transgender students assisted a doctor in a surgery. Taking things forward, in this Durga Puja, which is the most important time of the year for all Bengalis, a few Puja communities have decided to challenge the patriarchal norms and allow a transgender to perform the traditional activity of chakshu daan. 

zgvv99ke6mgenwwak3bnbyenmyrnebe6.jpgSource - Latestly 

Challenging the social stigmas!

28-year-old Sayantan Ghosh is a transgender advocate who has been chosen to perform chakshu daan – the tradition of drawing eyes on the idols of Goddess Durga. Till this year, the ritual was performed by male artisans, but Kolkata has opened up to Ghosh and she performed at Jodhpur Park Cultural Association on Mahalaya (Monday) and will perform in Torpedo Welfare Society, a puja committee based in Howrah district on Tritiya (Friday).

Ghosh avoided stepping out of the house when she was a child. She was scared of being judged and teased. She has now found love and acceptance from Sonarpur Recreation Club, the place where her neighbourhood used to hold the pooja. Today, she has become the brand ambassador of the club. She is also the brand ambassador of Baghajatin Nirbhik Sangha.

9ivsivj33wzkl57wmmxcj6aleu8j2xag.jpgSource - India Times

“Durga Puja was a not a festival of happiness for me. But now I am overwhelmed that the organisers decided to make me brand ambassador. It gives recognition to our struggle and community,” said Ghosh, in an interview with Indian Express.

There is light at the end of the tunnel 

Sayantan Ghosh has come a long way from her scarred childhood to what she is today. She is a self-made transgender woman and she is proud of her identity. It was not very easy for her to not get affected by the taunts of the society but she kept improving herself through the power of knowledge and has now become a lawyer. It is really a great move by the Puja committees. Religious rituals and customs are the most orthodox and hence, the toughest to break away from.

“Most puja organisers make celebrities, sports stars and other stalwarts their brand ambassadors. But we decided to make her our ambassador this year. She has struggled and has become one of the first transgender lawyers in the country. It is an achievement,” said Rajib Bhuniya, treasurer of the puja committee of Sonarpur Recreation Club, according to Indian Express.

We agree. It is an achievement. A step in the right direction. Let’s hope that things only gets better from here for the Queer community.


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