Evil goes up in flames, leaders call for peace
Giant effigies of Ravana, Meghnada and Kumbhakarna were burnt on the Red Fort lawns here on the occasion of Dussehra, marking the triumph of good over evil. This year, themes of ‘defeating terrorism’ and the ‘recent surgical strikes carried out by the Army across LoC’ dominated the celebrations.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, among others, attended the Shri Dharmic Leela Committee’s Ram Lila event.
PM Narendra Modi was not present as he participated in Dussehra celebrations in Lucknow.
The President said celebrations bind the communities and regions of India in a true sense of brotherhood and “should motivate us to make renewed efforts for the unity and progress of our country”.
The dignitaries also performed ‘aarti’ before the artistes dressed as Rama and Lakshmana, a yearly ritual.
To mark peace, they also released white pigeons in the air. Several posters, saluting the Army’s valour after the surgical strikes, were spotted in the area.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attended the Luv-Kush Ramlila celebrations at the Red Fort. Wished people, he said: “If we can work together, we can definitely achieve our goals.” Kejriwal added: “We will face the evils in society together”.
“Arvind Kejriwal at Love-Kush Ramlila at Red Fort,” Aam Aadmi Party’s (APP’s) official Twitter handle stated along with pictures of Kejriwal taking part in the celebrations. Kejriwal was felicitated with a symbolic mace by the Ramlila organisers .
Scores of people had gathered at the Red Fort to witness the ‘Ravana Dahan’.
Dressed in their festive best, people attended Ramlilas across the city where artistes enacted the final battle episode of Ramayana, where Lord Rama kills Ravana and brings back his wife Sita to Ayodhya on ‘Vijaydashmi’.
The effigies were set ablaze amid chants praising Lord Rama. Spectacular fireworks illuminated the sky, leaving many in awe. Elaborate security arrangements were made to ensure that the festivities go peacefully. Police maintained a tight vigil in the city.