Arghya Mitra is an amateur photographer. He has several distinctions to his credit including AFIAP from the Federation of International Photography (France). Wow! His works have also been exhibited in 20 countries. A hungry pair of eyeballs and an always ready lens that he has, national and international awards keep coming from photo salons.
Recently, he posted one of his captured images on facebook and tagged friends. Generally, people hate being tagged as many a times such actions cause unnecessary embarrassment. But certainly not in this case, when Arghya posted the image of an animal sacrifice. He wanted to ensure his friends see the photo, an eye-opener.
You can see that the buffalo calf (in the photo below) is tied and held by people and is about to be beheaded. Few persons are also seen lying on the ground and praying. And while posting this image, Arghya tagged his facebook friends … identifying them with one person or the other seen in the pic. This evoked mixed response. Many criticized the ritual as captured by Arghya, while some kept moving their cursors trying to figure out where do they stand in the picture (as tagged).
I was more interested in the image and I thought this must be talked about, blogged about. Arghya told me that he shot this photograph on the eve of Bengali New Year at Aambari, a remote village in Coochbehar district in India’s eastern state of West Bengal during ‘Ostomir Snan’ — a ritual performed mostly by Bengali Hindus on the eve of Basanti, another form of (Goddess) Durga Puja.
The scene here is of a sacrifice offered to the Goddess by members of a family to ward off evils that have engulfed them. The shot depicts the rituals prior to beheading the calf — a cult that remains today as evils of Hinduism. This image has also been selected in the “daily dozen” for 5th week of April in National Geographic.