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Jamshedpur sex workers demand high price Durga idol soil
newindpress.com ^ | 09/30/2002

Posted on 09/29/2002 3:35:03 PM PDT by dighton

RANCHI: Sex workers in Jharkhand’s 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 Jharkhand’s 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 Jamshedpur’s red light district for the soil they have to use in the Durga statues.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bollywood; india; ranchi

1 posted on 09/29/2002 3:35:03 PM PDT by dighton
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To: dighton
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.

What-huh?

2 posted on 09/29/2002 3:37:51 PM PDT by Slyfox
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3 posted on 09/29/2002 3:40:05 PM PDT by terilyn
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To: dighton
Whores sell dirt from their houses to make idols? That's an interesting religion.
4 posted on 09/29/2002 3:41:28 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: dighton
The time has come for us to fight for our rights as we have been deprived of them since time immemorial

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!!!

5 posted on 09/29/2002 3:43:50 PM PDT by johniegrad
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To: Dog Gone
Whores sell dirt from their houses to make idols?

What do you think that dirt smells like?

6 posted on 09/29/2002 3:45:35 PM PDT by johniegrad
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To: dighton
Go on, pull the other one.

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)

7 posted on 09/29/2002 3:46:00 PM PDT by LonePalm
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To: dighton
Sex workers in Jharkhand’s 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.


8 posted on 09/29/2002 3:47:35 PM PDT by Nick Danger
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To: Nick Danger
Ah yes, All cultures are equal..
Diversity is our Strength.
Semper Fi
9 posted on 09/29/2002 4:08:24 PM PDT by river rat
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To: dighton

Life is sometimes stranger than fiction, n'est pas.

10 posted on 09/29/2002 4:09:51 PM PDT by Diogenesis
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To: Diogenesis
They're probably members of Idol Makers Local 22. Unionized and sending $ to the DNC. They're everywhere.....
11 posted on 09/29/2002 4:18:44 PM PDT by martian_22
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To: martian_22
At a Connecticut fundraiser in the spring of 1996, X42 made a crack about a five-hundred-year-old Inca mummy
that had just been discovered at the summit of a Peruvian volcano. "You know, if I were a single man, I might ask that
mummy out," Clinton said. "That's a good-looking mummy."


12 posted on 09/29/2002 4:22:30 PM PDT by Diogenesis
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To: dighton
Sounds like they need a sex-workers union.
13 posted on 09/29/2002 4:49:58 PM PDT by Old Professer
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To: dighton
Is this satire? Ranchi? Jerkhand...I mean Jharkhand?

I once had a tryst with Parvati. Breathtaking beauty...!

14 posted on 09/29/2002 5:04:21 PM PDT by Savage Beast
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To: Savage Beast; Orual; aculeus; general_re; BlueLancer; jellybean
Quite real.

Ranchi Express Online: Portal to Jharkhand, India.

15 posted on 09/29/2002 5:07:28 PM PDT by dighton
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To: dighton; Orual; general_re
Is sand from the Mustang Ranch acceptable to the gods?
16 posted on 09/29/2002 5:20:36 PM PDT by aculeus
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To: Nick Danger
Mastan baba urs in Guntur from today
17 posted on 09/29/2002 6:08:01 PM PDT by dighton
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To: johniegrad
Smells like the nasty men who frequent there. Smell of hell surrounds them.
18 posted on 09/29/2002 7:51:04 PM PDT by buffyt
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To: Nogbad
Ping for help.

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?

19 posted on 09/29/2002 7:54:55 PM PDT by keri
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To: keri
No. Durga is primarily a Goddess who protects her "children" from evil. Her multiple arms signify strength. If you look at an idol of Durga from Durga Puja then you'll see how she has a bloody weapon (a sword?) in one of her hands and a dead 'rakshas' (demon) lying near by. Also a tiger (or a lion?) nearby which is her 'vehicle'.. because the lion signifies strength and supremacy. Basically, the idea is if you're good and you listen to mommy and daddy and do your homework and don't steal from the poor then Durga will look out for you and slay your inner demons for you :-)
20 posted on 09/29/2002 8:01:50 PM PDT by AM2000
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To: keri
There are many legends regarding Durga. This the main one:

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.

21 posted on 09/29/2002 8:22:52 PM PDT by Nogbad
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To: dighton
You know, when I saw the title of this article, I just knew it was you!

You are better than National Geographic and you have a better subscription price!

22 posted on 09/29/2002 8:28:20 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: Nogbad; AM2000
Thanks to both of you.

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?

23 posted on 09/29/2002 8:39:53 PM PDT by keri
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To: keri
I have never heard of this particular practice before today. I would imagine it's not too common.
24 posted on 09/29/2002 8:41:17 PM PDT by AM2000
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To: keri
And yes, you're right about the Ganges. Every year, at the end of Durga Puja, a ceremonial procession is taken back to the Ganges and the idol is dropped into the water, where it came from.
25 posted on 09/29/2002 8:42:42 PM PDT by AM2000
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To: terilyn
That's a really neat photo. Where did you get it?
26 posted on 09/30/2002 3:29:06 AM PDT by sneakypete
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To: dighton; aculeus
It was the Bollywood blockbuster Devdas that gave the sex workers the idea.

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.

27 posted on 09/30/2002 6:33:35 AM PDT by Orual
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