Ayodhya artists walk the ramp, irk seers
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