Lucknow: As the childhood memories of three major effigies being burned on the occasion of Dussehra have been engrained on our minds, to see curtains being drawn on a historic tradition at the centuries-old Aishbagh Ramlila in Lucknow this year, might actually be hard. The Ramlila committee has decided to discontinue the 300-year-old practice of burning effigies of Kumbhkaran and Meghnad along with that of Ravan this Dussehra, reports Times of India.Also Read – 5 Dead, Several Injured As Fire Breaks Out In Durga Puja Pandal In UP’s Bhadohi
WHY NO MEGHANAD, KUMBHAKARNA EFFIGIES ANY MORE?
The organisers, after studying Ramayana texts thoroughly, mention that Kumbhkaran and Meghnad had tried to dissuade Ravana from fighting against Lord Ram initially even though they ended up participating in the war too. Hence, the committee has decided to do away with the burning of their effigies. Also Read – UP NEET PG Counselling 2022 Revised Schedule Released on upneet.gov.in. Check Important Dates Here
The idea was first mooted by the Aishbagh Dussehra and Ramlila Committee president Harishchandra Agrawal and secretary Aditya Dwivedi five years ago, but it was rejected by other members on the grounds that burning effigies of the trio was part of a 300-year-old tradition. Also Read – 26 Killed as Tractor Trolley Falls Into Pond in UP's Kanpur; PM Modi Announces Ex-gratia of Rs 2 Lakhs
“A thorough reading of Ramcharitmanas and other versions of the Ramayana reveals that Ravana’s son Meghanad had told him that Lord Ram was incarnation of Vishnu and they should not wage war against him. Ravana’s brother Kumbhkarna, on the other hand, told him that Sita, whom the Lanka king had kidnapped, was none other than Jagdamba and if he doesn’t free her, he might end up losing everything, including his life. However, Ravana ignored their suggestions and ordered them to fight. This is why, we thought, burning effigies of Meghanad and Kumbhkarna is wrong,” Dwivedi told ToI.
“After lot of debate, we were able to convince all members this year that the tradition needs to be discontinued and there was unanimity on the decision,” said Agrawal.
Ramlila and Dussehra celebrations are believed to have been started at Aishbagh by sage-poet Goswami Tulsidas in the 16th century, says the ToI report. The tradition to burn effigies was introduced about three centuries ago. Both the traditions were conducted by seers till the 1857 first war of independence. The nawabs of Lucknow also used to visit the Ramlila. After the uprising, the celebrations were carried forward by social workers.