West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today played the dhak (a drum-like traditional musical instrument) at the opening of a community Durga Puja in Kolkata. The Chief Minister inaugurated the pandal of Suruchi Sangha in New Alipore as Kolkata got into the festive mood.
In a video that went viral on social media, Ms Banerjee can be seen cutting the ribbon and then walking into the pandal with a dhak slung around her left shoulder and playing it. Once inside the main pandal, she places the dhak on the floor and continues playing it, with her Cabinet colleague Firhad Hakim also joining in, next to her.
Though the autumnal festival officially begins on October 1 this year, the city and the state have seen an early start to the festivities with Kolkata's Durga Puja being included on the UNESCO list for 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity'. The West Bengal Chief Minister had led a huge procession in Kolkata on September 1 to celebrate the UNESCO recognition and felicitate visiting UNESCO officials as a prelude to Durga Puja.
UNESCO's inclusion of Durga Puja on the list for 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity' has led to the festival being promoted on the lines of international events like the Rio Carnival.
Like every other year, this year too, Ms Banerjee has inaugurated several community Durga Puja pandals in the city. So far, she has opened more than 260 pujas, physically and virtually. She has also debuted as a singer in her latest album titled Utsaber Gaan (Festive Songs). She has sung Dhak dumadum, with singer Aditi Munshi and singer-turned-politician Indranil Sen.