The Story Of A Kalipuja, Which is Patronizes By The Dacoits Of Bengal, Sangbad Pratidin: Ghosts, tigers, love, and thieves. Four types of stories are good. Leela Majumdar himself said this. Although he did not mention the robber, it can be assumed that he meant the robber to tell the story of the thief. Because who doesn’t like to hear the story of dacoits with shaggy hair, red bands on their heads, tilak on their forehead, eyes like bloodshot jaws, who are ganging up on torches? The appeal of the story is a little less. And there is no possibility of arguing that Kali Puja is one of the most ‘common’ in robber stories. There are many myths about robbers’ Kali Puja. Times have changed. Those robbers ‘vanish’. But numerous Kali temples with their memorials still bear witness to that lost time.
We are used to seeing Gabbar Singh on the silver screen or Chandan Dasyu Veerappan in the real world. But the appearance and image of the robbers of Bengal is completely different. I am not talking about today’s sophisticated firearms-wielding bandits. But the story revolves around the bandits that spread after the British rule in India. They were indeed ‘larger than life. Tollywood star Dev has started making a movie about Raghu Dakat since last year. This Raghu dacoit also used to commit robbery after performing Kali Puja. He is not alone, but all of his team is. If you want to touch that story, you can visit Raghu Dakat’s Kali Mandir on Khagen Chatterjee Road in Kashipur. It is said that the Chitteshwari Sarvamangala Kali idol of this temple was established by Raghu himself. Apart from Goddess Sarvamangala, there are three Shiva temples in the temple premises. Once Raghu Dakat saw the idols of Devi and Mahadev in the swampy area. Later the goddess gave him a dream. According to that order, he held the idol.
Another famous (or infamous) Dakat of Bengal is Bishe Dakat. The temple of wild ink is associated with his name. Common householders trembled in fear of dacoits in Hooghly’s fig tree. Again, the English government would have been sidelined. It is heard that Bishe aka Biswanath Banerjee used to go from Hooghly to Jessore by boat. He built a big house on the banks of the Ganges by robbery. Kali Puja was performed before going to rob, but twenty robbers would come out.
The story of Dakatkali does not end with the worship of Raghu Dakota or Bishe Dakat. For example, the present Manoharpukur Road was densely forested after the Battle of Palashi. There used to be a handsome robber. The pilgrims who used to visit the Kalighat temple, on their way back, suddenly a group of robbers would come out of the forest. They looted innocent passers-by. Chana Kali Puja was performed by this charming robber.
In this way, from the second half of the 18th century to the first half of the 19th century, dakatkali’s turns or temples were seen to be built in various villages and towns of Bengal. We know the story of many such temples. Even if you go to an unknown village, you will hear a thrilling story of a robbery. But why? Why is Kali Puja closely related to robbery? It is difficult to find the exact reason. But if you think about it, it seems that there was no tendency in this Bengal to choose hereditary robbery as a ‘profession’ like in West or North India. Although descriptions like ‘Nirantar a Pai Dakat Pheri’ in books like ‘Chaitanya Bhagavata’ make it clear, the history of Dakotas in Bengal is not very old. However, it is undeniable that the socio-economic life of Bengal was severely affected by British rule, and many people were forced to pick up sharp weapons and choose the path of robbers. And that’s why maybe there was a sense of conscience in their minds. Whether consciously or subconsciously. It may not be an exaggeration to say that the robbers of Bengal decided to surrender themselves to Maa Kali out of ‘sinfulness’. Maybe that’s why they used to distribute a large part of the looted wealth among the poor people.
A story can be told in favor of the piety of the Kalibhakt dacoits. That story is in the book ‘Banglar Dakat, Banglar Bagh’ written by Maharani Suniti Devi. A house has been robbed. Since the robbers used to come to rob by letters, the house officials had already left with the jewelry and money. But in the end, a woman and a little girl remained in the house. The girl was woken up by the sound of robbers. Thinking about what to do to escape from the danger, he remembered the color of his skin. Shyamvarna the little girl then dressed in black and faced the robbers. Diameter! Kabuki robbers immediately fell at the feet of the goddess-like daughter. Decided, not in this house anymore. Then pull the paper back.
This story may be true or a myth. Be that as it may, the pious aspect of the dacoits becomes obvious. It can be understood that no matter how fierce they became with weapons in their hands, spiders in their ears and tilaks on their foreheads, a kind of conscience sting was working inside them. And so they surrendered themselves at the feet of the goddess. They wanted to lighten the burden of their sins by worshiping Kali. Although the story is made up, the truth inside it cannot be denied.