Skip to comments.Jamshedpur sex workers demand high price Durga idol soil
Posted on 09/29/2002 3:35:03 PM PDT by dighton
RANCHI: Sex workers in Jharkhands steel city Jamshedpur have upped almost fivefold the price for fistfuls of soil that idol makers symbolically take from their doorsteps to make statues of goddess Durga.
Last year I paid Rs.50-100. But this year they are demanding Rs.400-500, complained Deepu, who is busy making idols for the Durga Puja next month.
Deepu visits the red light district of Bahargora to fetch the soil, which is seen a symbol of fertility.
It was the Bollywood blockbuster Devdas that gave the sex workers the idea and made them realise that the soil from their thresholds holds tremendous importance in the festival, which is celebrated with great fervour mostly across eastern India.
The film has a scene where Parvati (Aishwarya Rai) goes to the home of courtesan Chandramukhi (Madhuri Dixit) -- both lovers of the lead character Devdas -- to ask for a fistful of soil.
Why should we not charge a high price? Except on this occasion, we are looked down upon, said sex worker Ramia.
Earlier this month, sex workers of Kolkata in neighbouring West Bengal had refused to give lumps of clay from their doorsteps to idol makers, saying the practice was demeaning to them.
While their counterparts in Jamshedpur, about 170 km from Jharkhands capital Ranchi, have not refused to give the soil, they insist they have the right to demand a high price for it. But they empathise with the sex workers in Kolkata.
What they did was right. The time has come for us to fight for our rights as we have been deprived of them since time immemorial. People use us for their pleasure and when we bear their children, they neglect us, said Nagma, another sex worker at Bahargora.
Why do people look down on us? Durga Puja cannot be celebrated without our contribution. Then what is problem with people accepting us in society? We too are human beings, she asked.
Bahargora is situated close to the tri-junction of Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa. So idol makers from nearby areas of all three states go to Jamshedpurs red light district for the soil they have to use in the Durga statues.
If the idol makers organize and reduce the ability of the genital laborers to reproduce for the security of the country, will it not be a matter of jeopardizing the national defense? And this matter of workers' rights will be ignored in the false name of "national security"? If there ever was a case for the DNC this is one. FREE THE IDOL DIRT!!!
What do you think that dirt smells like?
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
|Sex workers in Jharkhands steel city Jamshedpur have upped almost fivefold the price for fistfuls of soil that idol makers symbolically take from their doorsteps to make statues of goddess Durga.
Dighton, I have got to hand it to you. I never in a million years would have found this out if you had not posted this article. I had totally lost track of the sex workers in Jamshedpur, and since they discovered Anna Kournikova I have not been keeping up to date with the goddess Durga. One goddess at a time is about all I can handle.
Life is sometimes stranger than fiction, n'est pas.
I once had a tryst with Parvati. Breathtaking beauty...!
My first impulse was to laugh. (I mean, the thought of prostitutes in India using "free enterprise.")
I thought the clay for the idols of Durga was taken from the Ganges, and then returned to the river when the festival was over. Durga isn't only a goddess of "fertility", is she?
A demon known as Mahisasura once ruled the earth.
...the gods, after deliberations, decided to create out of themselves
a female warrior with all their attributes yet bestowing on her
also the celestial beauty and charms and female graces,
such as would make her represent the absolute womanhood on earth.
The legends say that with the power of Shiva was formed her head,
with that of Yama her hair.
Her arms, breasts, waist, feet, toe-nails, fingernails, nose, teeth, eyes, brows, ears
were formed respecttively with the powers of
Vishnu, Moon, Indra, Brahma, Sun, Vasu, Kuber, Prajapati, Agni, Twilight and Vayu.
The ocean brought out for her glittering jewels and ornaments
and the Shesha gave her a necklace inlaid with celestial gems of immense value.
She immediately came to their rescue and killed Mahisasura in a fierce battle.
You are better than National Geographic and you have a better subscription price!
I had read of the legend but it was not quite as detailed as yours, Nogbad.
I am curious how common the practice might be of going to a "sex-workers" door for clay to make the idols. I've read the clay is taken from the Ganges because the Ganges is considered Holy, and when the idols have served their purpose they are returned. Millions of small idols are made and this is also supposed to be considered an art. Is this correct?
From the review: If you are bored with the story, then the visuals more than make up for it and make for some interesting viewing.