Durga Puja: A Colonial Hindu Festival That Took Over India


The annual Hindu festival Durga Puja — a potpourri of events celebrated differently in different parts of India in honor of mother goddess — is popularly regarded as an occasion to commemorate good triumphing over evil.

Mythological significance of the festival is attributed to numerous versions of stories, including those of Goddess Durga killing demon king Mahisha and King Rama killing demon king Ravana.

Interestingly, despite bearing the markings of the ancient Hindu tradition, Durga Puja has fairly modern beginnings and gained mass popularity among the Hindus in their effort to counter a cultural invasion by the Muslims and to subvert the British administrations in 17th and 18th centuries.

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