Where Mahishasura Is Martyr…

Many Dalit and Adivasi communities in our country worship and believe in the power of Mahishasura. It is also believed that Mahishasura was an indigenous king who was killed during the invasion by the upper caste Hindus. Those who mourn Mahishasura’s death believe he was portrayed as a ‘demon king’ by the Brahmins and upper caste Hindus who tops the charts of Hindu caste system hierarchy. Just they way Ravana is worshipped, Mahishasura is worshipped by a few communities and they follow the Santhal and Asur rituals. They believe they are descendants of Mahishasura and belong to the Asura community. They even use ‘Asura’ as their surname. These communities believe that Mahishasura was outnumbered in the fight with Goddess Durga and hence consider it an unfair fight. A small tribe of 50 families in the north Bengal believe that Mahishasura’s death was unfortunate and unfair. Unlike Durga followers, their festival begins when Mahalaya ends. On the day of Vijaydashmi, Mahishasura’s followers start a two-day festival to worship their king. Their customs includes eating meat and drinking hadia, a local liquor brewed in earthen pots. And this is not just in Bengal; the king even has an appeal across Odisha, Assam, Chhattisgarh and is a hero for many.

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