Effigies of ‘terrorism’ to go up in flames
With the effigies of Ravana, Meghnada and Kumbhkarna all set to go up in flames on Tuesday, effigy makers this year have had peculiar demands from customers – to either make an extra structure of ‘terrorism’ or of the Lankan King with anti-terrorism slogans.
The demands follow the surgical strikes conducted by the Army on terror launch pads in Pakistan early this month.
While taking a walk down Titarpur, the area around Tagore Garden that becomes a home to effigy-makers during Dussehra, one can see effigies being loaded on to trucks and being sent to other states such as Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
However, an effigy that immediately catches attention is a black-coloured giant with slogans like ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ and ‘Nawaz Sharif jaisi karni, waisi bharni’.
“We have made 10-12 Ravana effigies with anti-Pakistan messages. This year, many people, who had ordered Ravana effigies, said that they want to send out a strong message against terrorism. Many of them have asked us to paint slogans, condemning terrorism, on Ravana’s effigy. These effigies have been covered with black paper with messages written in silver,” says Mahendra, an effigy-maker.
Every year, the Ravana effigies are made on a theme.
“Last year, the effigies were given names such as Don, Khalnayak. This year, we are seeing the anti-terrorism wave,” says Subhash, another effigy-maker.
“Many people, who wish to avoid any controversy, have ordered effigies that are covered with green paper, symbolysing Pakistani flag. They have asked us not to write any messages, but have ordered for green-coloured effigies,” said Kishore, another effigy-maker.
Effigy-makers point out that many people have ordered for an extra structure, which will be burnt alongside those of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnada.
“In our Ramlila, we have had posters saluting our soldiers, who were martyred in the Uri attacks. When Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visited our Ramlila, we had an hour-long programme dedicated to the Indian Army. On Tuesday, when the effigies will be finally burnt, we will also set the fourth effigy, symbolising terrorism, to fire,” said Arjun Kumar, secretary, Lav Kush Ramlila Committee.
The Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee has opted for a similar way to send across a message against terrorism among the public.
“We will have a black effigy that will have anti-terrorism slogans painted on it. It will be burnt alongside the effigies of Ravana, Meghnada and Kumbhkarna,” said Rahul Sharma, press secretary, Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee.