Kolkata: The city of joy has gear up with the colours and lights of the theme puja and amid the festivity the controversial clay models of ‘Mahishasura-fake doctors’ at Mohammad Ali Park has created a whirlwind in the city. On Saturday, organisers of the prominent community Durga puja at Mohammad Ali Park added a somewhat divine dimension to the controversy by dressing up Mahishasura, the demon, as a doctor.
Reportedly, keeping this in mind chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday told the Mohammad Ali Park puja committee to remove those fake doctor models from the pandal .
While, allegedly the organizers claimed they were trying to raise public awareness against bogus doctors, associations of doctors pointed out that the words “fake doctor” were not written anywhere on the clay model or in the pandal.
According to the sources Mamata told the Puja committee Chairman Dinesh Bajaj to remove the clay models of the ‘Mahishasura-Fake doctors’ that portrays demons as doctors form the pandal.
The puja at Mohammad Ali Park is one of the most popular community pujas in Kolkata. Based on arterial Central Avenue, this puja was first held in 1969.
Puja committee Chairman Dinesh Bajaj said, “Pictures of the model were taken before we could complete the decoration (leading to the controversy).
“Now we have put up a notice board before the model which reads ‘Hatred for fake doctors who are like demons and Respect for the real doctors”.
“We would have put up the board beside the model before inauguration, in any case. The same board would be put up in different parts of the park (where the pandal has come up),” Bajaj said.
Indian Medical Association (IMA) member Dr Sajal Biswas said, “Durga puja is a festival of harmony where lakhs of people assemble. Such a model will create wrong impression about doctors who share a unique, human bonding with patients. We wish the model is removed and necessary action taken.”
IMA West Bengal unit Secretary Santanu Sen said, “It would have been appropriate if the model was removed. The puja committee should also make the issue clear that they are only referring to fake doctors and making a distinction. They should put up hoardings, posters and notices around the puja pandal area to make the distinction.”
Bajaj, however, said that the issue has been sorted out with the IMA and Medical Council of India that had contacted the organisers to seek assurances that the medical profession would not be maligned in puja decorations. The issue also triggered protests in the social network.