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Subdued Dussehra in Dehradun leaves Ramlila organisers disappointed

The organisers of Dussehra festival in Dehradun are upset with the district administration for keeping the celebration low key as pandemic protocols remain in place.

ANI | Dehradun (Uttarakhand) | Updated: 24-10-2020 16:54 IST | Created: 24-10-2020 16:54 IST
Subdued Dussehra in Dehradun leaves Ramlila organisers disappointed
Harish Virmani, President - Bannu community. (Photo/ANI). Image Credit: ANI

The organisers of Dussehra festival in Dehradun are upset with the district administration for keeping the celebration low key as pandemic protocols remain in place. The Bannu fraternity, which has been organising Dussehra festivities in Dehradun for 74 years, has accused the district administration of playing with the sentiments of the people.

The main festival of 'Ravana Dahan' is held every year at the hill station's Parade Ground, but this time the administration has barred celebrations due to coronavirus infection. "We have been organising Dussehra for the past 74 years in the Dehradun parade ground. This celebration brings together followers from across the country. The Dussehra festival is a very important festival and its a matter of our religious faith to celebrate it properly," Harish Virmani, President - Bannu community, told ANI.

The community has sought permission for 'Ravan Dahan' in the Bannu School ground with 200 people. But the local administration has not given a nod even as they have allowed a relatively subdued ritual of effigy-burning. "We requested to organise the festival with 200 people in open ground but haven't received a nod from the authorities. They have only allowed a 10 feet Ravan effigy with 20 people at one place for 'Ravan Dahan'. Vijayadashami symbolises values of Hinduism and the feelings of hundreds of Hindus would be hurt if the administration doesn't allow us to organise the festival with at least 200 people," he added.

On the other hand, the 152-year-old Ramlila Kala Samiti has not been able to stage Ramlila due to Covid guidelines. "Artists come from Mathura and Vrindavan to perform in our Ramlila. They have to be informed well before time. Hence we requested the administration two months ago for permission. It's unfortunate that we couldn't perform this Dussehra," Som Prakash, General Secretary, Patron Board - Shri Ram Leela Arts Committee, told ANI.

The 10th day of Sharad Navratri is marked as Dussehra or Vijay Dashami. It is celebrated with great joy and fervour across India by burning the effigies of Ravan in open fields to symbolise the victory of 'good' over 'evil'. (ANI)


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