A Muslim man identified as Nuruddin Ahmed has managed to build a 101-foot tall Maa Durga idol with Bamboo in Guwahati. The idol may also enter the Guinness Book of Records as the tallest bamboo sculpture ever made in the world. The idol was being built by the over 40 artisans
from Bishnipur Durga Committee in Guwahati.
59-year-old Ahmed affirmed that he had been making the idols of Hindu gods and goddesess adding that the first ever pandal that Ahmed erected was in 1975. He further asserted that “art has no religion”.
“Many people ask me why I make such Idols as I am a Muslim. But I want to tell that I have been doing this work since 1975. I always think that an artist has no religion and his only religion and duty is to serve humanity,” Ahmed was quoted as saying. Ahmed has used 5000 banboo for building the Durga idol. He has also used the traditional Assamese hat to complete the structure.
However, the journey of making the huge sculpture was not as easy as one might assume. While speaking to a leading news daily, Ahmed said that a storm had pulled down the idol when it was almost complete. But the artisans along with Ahmed got together to put it back in place in the last few days.
“Some people, including a section of media are asking me funny questions about why I being a Muslim chose to make Durga idols and sculptures. I have grown up in the Assamese tradition where there is a lot of religious tolerance in comparison to most other parts of India. Chandsai, one of the principal disciples of Srimanta Sankaradeva, the greatest saint-reformer of mediaeval Assam was a Muslim,” Ahmed said.
He also stated that his team comprises of both Hindu and Muslim artisans.