The effigies of those who criticised the ‘Sanatan Dharma’ will be burnt alongside those of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnad on Vijayadashami in the major Ramlilas of the national Capital, several Ramlila committees have decided.
The decision came after Delhi BJP leaders urged them to torch the effigies of such politicians, but committees’ office-bearers said there was no politics involved as they have in the past torched effigies depicting inflation, corruption and drug-addiction.
Every year on Dussehra, three effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkaran are set on fire by Ramlila committees as a symbol of the victory of truth over untruth. Many Ramlila organisers have described Udayanidhi Stalin as today’s Ravana and some have suggested burning his effigy in place of Ravana, while others have suggested installing a fourth effigy of Stalin.
Some opposition leaders including Udhyanidhi Stalin recently made statements targeting the ‘Sanatan Dharma’, inviting the BJP ire.
Ravi Jain, the manager of Shri Dharmik Leela Committee, said, “it is our tradition to burn effigies of social evils during Dussehra. Ramleela is a part of the Sanatan Dharma, so this year we will burn the effigies of those who oppose it.”
Adarsh Ramleela Committee advisor Satish Garg said burning the effigies of those who are “disparaging and misrepresenting” the Sanatan Dharma is not trying to target an individual.
“The Sanatan Dharma belongs to people. Speaking against the Sanatan Dharma is like insulting everything that emanates from it including Ramleela and lord Sri Ram himself,” Garg said.
The decision of the Ramleela Committees came after Delhi BJP leaders urged them to torch the effigies of politicians who are against the Sanatan Dharma.
Delhi BJP media cell head Praveen Shankar Kapoor as appeal was made to the Ramleela Committees after a direction from state president Virendra Sachdeva.
Delhi Dharmik Mahasangh general secretary Ashok Goel Devraha said Ramleelas symbolise the Sanatan Dharma and those who compare it with diseases like dengue need to be opposed.
“It is not a political issue but political parties should act against their leaders who speak ill about any religion. Ramleela is all about destruction of evils,” said Ravi Kaptan from the Navshree Dharmik Leela committee
But he added, “We have not decided anything yet about torching the effigies of anti-Sanatan Dharma leaders.”Anything said against the Sanatan Dharma is like insulting lord Ram whose victory is celebrated on Dusserha, said Dheeraj Dhar Gupta, an advisor of Bauji Ramleela Committee.
He said the effigies of those who insulted the ‘Sanatan Dharma’ will be burnt on Dussehra.