Religion is the best way to manufacture any thought and ritual and it will never get questioned. The significance of religion lies everywhere even in determining the sexuality of individuals. In a bold move Kolkata’s Joy Mitra Street has come up with a transgender Durga Idol.
The street will host the country’s first transgender Durga Idol. It is organised by Kolkata-based sexual rights initiative, The Pratyay Gender Trust, in association with association with Uddyami Yuvak Brinda,the local club of the area.
According to the club the transgender idol is based on the Ardhnareshvar form of Lord Shiva which means half man and half woman. The idol was the idea of a 55 year old transgender who approached the Pooja committee. Though the Pooja committee accepted the idea but it was rejected by locals initially. Later even the locals agreed to an offbeat idol.
The idea of introducing an Ardhnareshvar idol is definitely a good step towards breaking the strereotypes aginst the level of its acceptance in India but misinterpretation of religious is not done.
To be precise the Ardhnareshvar form of Lord Shiva means that every individual has the powers of a man as well as a woman but it nowhere means that Ardhnareshvar stands for a transgender.
The initiative must be lauded but the facts should be presented as it is. Defining powers within is completely different from defining one’s sexuality. It is true that we need to progress towards accepting the sexual preferences of people but it should be done by not falsely manufacturing the religious facts.