Bengal: When economics, culture, religion and politics come together in a pandal

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Bengal: When economics, culture, religion and politics come together in a pandal

West Bengal: Durga Puja is celebrated across India in various forms, but there is no Pujo like the one marked in West Bengal, home to perhaps the world’s largest public arts carnival during the festive season. With a dip in Covid-19 cases and positive market sentiment, Bengal’s economy is hoping to make a strong comeback, riding on the ten-day festival that is as much a cultural marker as a religious one. A recently released British Council report, Mapping the Creative Economy around Durga Puja 2019, pegged the total economic worth of the creative industries around the festival (pre-pandemic) at an estimated ₹32,377 crore annually, which is 2.58% of Bengal’s GSDP. The study evaluated 10 creative industries (for example, installation, art and decoration, idol-making, lighting and illumination, literature and publishing, and others) that drive Durga Puja and provide employment and income to artists and artisans labourers. The report estimated at that at least 36,000 community pujas are held across the state.