NO GODMAN fACE fOR RAVANA
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”.