This year something unprecedented has happened. The two major Durga Puja committees have closed their doors to the Bengalis of the area who have failed to pre-register in due time. Kallol organizers tell me that they are completely sold out and do not have space for a single extra person. They had to express their inability to accommodate hundreds of people. Apparently this year the township authorities have clamped down with severe restrictions on the number of people that can be accommodated at the Ukranian Cultural/Community Center hall where Kallol celebrates its Durga Puja. It is envisaged that the township authorities will be inspecting the venue every day during the festival during the peak hours.
This is indeed a very sad situation. Bengalis of the area have been coming to these Pujas for a long long time. And this is the first time, they may not be able to attend their favorite festival for which they having waiting year long, just because they missed the registration deadline in their busy life. Kallol did not even have a deadline. They closed their registration window as soon as they reached their target number. The community is buzzing about this issue, and sometimes the buzz in breaking out into loud arguments about whether the organizers have the right to restrict admissions to a “sarbojonin” or public festival celebration. But I think they are missing one point. Any organizer would love to have more attendees – because that’s what fetches the revenue. But in this country we are bound by several laws and regulations that prevent us from doing things the way we would like them to be. Moving to a bigger venue is also not economically feasible without a guaranteed huge revenue stream.
Hence, to all our friends who have not been able to register to either Kallol or GSCA Pujo, I’d request them to patronize the other two New Jersey Pujo’s this year. ICC of Garden State and the Garden State Puja Committee of Jersey City are having their celebrations during the same weekend. They also plan to have great entertainment program with bands like Chandrabindu from Kolkata. And I understand, they do have some extra room to accommodate few more people. Following are their details:
Indian Community Center of Garden State
Oct 4th & 5th
Eisenhower Middle School
47 Eyland Avenue
Succasunna, NJ 07876
Garden State Puja Committee
Oct 4th and 5th, 2008
40 Sullivan Dr, Jersey City, NJ
Also, I’d request you to become members of organizations like Kallol and GSCA, such that in future years your admission is assured.