Durga is totally different from the Durga the people are presently worshipping. The real Durga is symbolic shape of united uprising of the exploited people against empire builders in ancient India.
Empire building was a patriarch passion and to the patriarchs of Vedic period, tribal people of matriarch society were the greatest insurmountable obstacle. Durga stands for united action of exploited people against class enemies. Let us go into the period when Durga first appeared.
Indigenous people of India were of a settled civilization with cultivation as their principal avocation.
In the beginning stage of that civilization, when like other animals in the forest, sex was a chance union of a female with a stray male in a blowout of physical desire, family comprised only the mother and her offsprings; because, after sexual union with the stray male, due to biological reason, the female was getting pregnant and giving birth to the child with no trace of the male whose progeny she was to deliver. To feed her child, the ancient mother was in search of easier means and this search had given birth to agriculture. So, females are regarded as inventors of agriculture. Thus, in ancient India, families grew as agro-based matriarch families that were settling near water sources on fertile cultivable lands. Naturally, therefore, they were scattered and there was no unity amongst them, no society.
In that primitive state, human bulls, lazy in life-style, but reveling in their individual prowess, were taking away by force the agricultural products of the matriarch families and enjoying their lives by forcing the females of those families into stray sex. This conduct was very akin to that of wild buffalos. Therefore, these male miscreants were, to the matriarch agro-families, wild-buffaloes with demonic prowess (MAHISHASURA). Every matriarch family, every female that was pursuing cultivation to feed her child/children was harassed by the human bulls – perceived as Mahishasura. They were trying to get rid of Mahishasura; but because they were living in different places to carry out cultivation, none of them was able to defeat the demonic looters of their crops and perpetrators of crime against the, By then, the stronger males had started rallying in support of the strongest amongst them so that easy living through looting the agro-products of the matriarch families and reveling in sex sans responsibility would not be difficult. These miscreants had become a class of their own and by sheer strength of their brutality, had started claiming their entitlement to the food products of the matriarch families by clamping their ownership over the soil the matriarch families were cultivating.
The matriarch families decided to be united against these male chauvinists – the looters of their foods and sex-maniacs – who to them were of the class of Mahishasura. They united. For the first time, scattered and unrelated agricultural matriarch families united against their class enemy. For the first time society was formed. The united society vanquished and exterminated Mahishasura. Durgati (turmoil) of the society was over. This united society of the agricultural families was symbolically called Durga as thereby “durgati” of the members of that society was removed. Prosperity had come.
Worshippers of Durga ought to know how Durga evolved and what is the real mission of Durga instead of staying trapped under provisions of rituals contrived by modern Mahishasuras to keep people away from the class consciousness, the concept of Durga calls for.
Several years ago, I had discussed the concept of Durga in Dharitri, one of Orissa’s mainstream dailies. I posted it here again in public interest as the present time is also suffering to its core with modern Mahishasuras – looters and rapists – ruling the roost.