Occupying a position between Hindu and Muslim communities has long been reflected in Patua scrolls and song. Always moralistic in nature, they sang and painted about kings and sages, local folktales and beliefs, and Hindu gods and Muslim saints. With the coming of the British, their repertoire expanded to encompass revolutionary political themes.
Now in the era of globalization, Patuas are once again responding to the changing world through their art. Besides religion and local events, scrolls and songs frequently feature issues of worldwide concern, but with a local twist.
For example, in artist Manu Chitrakars version of the events of 9/11, the son of an affluent Bengali gentleman goes to New York, secures a job in the Oil Trade House (i.e., World Trade Center), and tragically dies in the conflagration along with thousands of Americans. This artist also created a sequel to this scroll about the war against the Taliban in
An exhibition titled