Resident of Chittaranjan Park, Moly Ghosh Dastidar is from creative art industry specialized in sculpture art (sculptor). A tall and bearded man, he was delighted to talk with me. Here is the interview:

“Hello Sir, can you tell me what are you currently working on?”
“I am preparing sculptures for a museum in Punjab, Punjab State War Memorial. The sculptures are hyper reality sculptures i.e. they are made from silicones.”

“Can you explain the process?”
“Let us say we are preparing hand. First the body double is made on a human hand, so that minute texture of human features can be captured. Once it is set, we cut it using a scissor vertically. Then silicone is added, which forms the outer layer of hands. Finally packing material is added to fill up the hand. This is the simplest process, making of head and other body parts are much more complex.”

“Tell me something about Idol making.”
“In the basic of idol making, first we need to decide the scale. Let us say we decide it to be 1:1, then we take the measurement and form the armature. Then the armature is filled with clay or POP. What happens in case of the religious idol making is bit different. We cannot take the ratio to be 1:1. Also the idols are going to be larger than normal human figure. But they are human figure only with abstract features, like the 10 hands of Durga idol. So what exactly is idol making? It is nothing but giving form to the vision we illustrate in our mind about the god. We also have scriptures and ancient text and sculptures to take inspiration from.”

“How did Idol making started in Delhi?”
“Going deep into the past is bit difficult now, but Gandhi family was the one who appreciated art and helped it to flourish. Nehru being the pioneer suggested that artwork should be showcased in front of the government building. So with the help of Shantiniketan (Kolkata) sculpture of Yaksha and Yakshini was erected in the either gates of Reserve Bank of India.”

“Who were the people involved in this field?”
“Initially it was the families with surname Pal who made clay idols. Generally they are from the District Krishna Nagar (village Ghurni) of West Bengal. Yet another caste, Malakar used to procure idols made of gold. But nowadays any artisan with skill can enter into this field. It is the contractor’s wish to employ anyone, so he chooses the cheapest labour.”

“What is the future of the artisans in this field?”

To this he asked me about my opinion.

“I think as the country is getting more influenced from western culture, the number of atheist is rising. Thus the number of festival happening will get reduced and the artisans may not get much work.”

He interrupted me, saying “On the contrary the opposite is happening. Simply because of the fact that the population is increasing day by day. This population constitute of increased number of people believing in god. Thus the number of festivals will increase giving rise to more employment in this sector.”

“Can you tell something about the status of idol makers and ways to flourish them?
“The artisans are currently in a disorganized sector. The need of the hour is organised them and bring them to mainstream business. To do this we need to connect them and give them the exposure. Let us say we create a database with the contact number of every artisan. Then the sculptor or anyone who needs a craftsman can call them up and hire them. What is happening
now is that the whole thing is regulated by the contractor. Thus if someone asks for wages more than contractor is offering, he loses the work, and someone else is hired.”

“What can government do to uplift the artisans?”

“Look art is a field where the capability cannot be measured. Thus art cannot be regulated. Thus the only thing government can do is to decide a minimum wage that should be given to the artisans.”

For more information, please contact him at 9811272212