Ay­o­d­hya artists walk the ramp, irk seers

Mail Today - - NEWS - By Ne­lan­shu Shukla in Luc­know

OR­GAN­IS­ERS of the Novem­ber 6 Di­wali cel­e­bra­tions in Ay­o­d­hya have riled, per­haps un­in­ten­tion­ally, the seers and monks. In a bid to iden­tify the best artists for play­ing Lord Ram and Sita, they made the as­pi­rants walk the ramp at “Ram ki Paidi” — some­thing the more re­li­gious among them have found jar­ring.

The artists were made to do so on Sun­day evening, be­fore the se­lec­tion of three pairs who will play Lord Ram and Sita on the con­clud­ing day of the cel­e­bra­tions on Tues­day.

The first pair play­ing Lord Ram and Sita will ar­rive at the Ram Katha Park in Ay­o­d­hya in a he­li­copter on Tues­day. They will be wel­comed by Ut­tar Pradesh chief min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath, the first lady of South Korea and UP Gov­er­nor Ram Naik, among other dig­ni­taries.

The sec­ond pair will be wel­comed at the "Ram Ki Paidi", while the third pair will par­tic­i­pate in a a shobha ya­tra (pro­ces­sion) across the city to Ram Katha Park in a rath (char­iot). Flow­ers will be show­ered on them by lo­cal res­i­dents in a recre­ation of Lord Ram and Sita's ar­rival in Ay­o­d­hya af­ter 14 years of ex­ile.

Ma­hant Satyen­dra Das, who is the chief priest of Ram Lala, said: “Lord Ram and Sita are our God and they are highly re­spected by us. Their wor­ship and re­spect is a mat­ter of faith for us. The way the artists were made to walk the ramp dur­ing the se­lec­tion process is highly in­sult­ing. Strict ac­tion should be taken against those in­volved in the se­lec­tion process.”

Tem­ple is­sue should be set­tled through dis­cus­sion. There is no need for an or­di­nance. There should be no at­tempt to pres­sure govt. Any de­ci­sion would be taken af­ter dis­cus­sion with Mus­lim com­mu­nity ... Ram­das Athawale, Union min­is­ter

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