The Sunday Guardian - - Covert -

It was a la­bo­ri­ous ex­er­cise to try to get a Ravana ef­figy this Dussehra with the face of a “dis­graced” self-styled godman. Led by a wealthy Jat dig­ni­tary, a group in west Delhi was keen to de­pict “so­cial evils” through the Ravana and the other two ef­fi­gies. They dis­cussed var­i­ous evils. They de­cided on the grave is­sue of ris­ing rape in­ci­dents. To make it talk-of-the-town, they de­cided to de­pict a con­tro­ver­sial godman. The group ap­proached a prom­i­nent ef­figy maker near Ra­jouri Gar­den. He re­fused say­ing that “I don’t want any trou­ble.” Then they ap­proached a lo­cal se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer in­for­mally and asked whether they could get the per­mis­sion to burn such ef­fi­gies in their res­i­den­tial area. Amused, the po­lice of­fi­cer said, “I can’t give you per­mis­sion. Your mis­sion can cre­ate law and or­der sit­u­a­tion.” Up­set, the stub­born leader met a prom­i­nent crim­i­nal lawyer in the Pa­tiala House courts to seek his opin­ion. The lawyer said, “What an in­ter­est­ing idea, Sirji.” “Then should we go ahead?” he asked. Smil­ing, the lawyer said, “This idea can’t be im­ple­mented. You will run into se­ri­ous le­gal prob­lems. The po­lice will seize your ef­fi­gies on the plea that the act is likely to hurt feel­ings of a sec­tion of the so­ci­ety. You can also be ar­rested.” Con­tin­u­ing, the lawyer said, “By burn­ing a godman’s ef­figy in the garb of Ravana may anger him and he or his fol­low­ers may slap crim­i­nal and civil defama­tion cases against you. You might also be harmed.” Then look­ing into his eyes, the lawyer asked, “Have you talked to your wife?” This de­mol­ished the man. The group there­upon or­dered a big Ravana ef­figy “with a tra­di­tional face”.

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