Ramlila set to be grand affair in Ayodhya, albeit virtual

Ayodhya: All festivals in the country amid the Covid pandemic this year may have been subdued affairs, but preparations are on to make the Ramlila in Ayodhya a grand and star-studded event.

However, this year’s Ramlila will be only available on the virtual platform owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

“This will be the first Diwali in Ayodhya after the ‘bhumi pujan’ of the Ram temple and the state government wants to make it a memorable affair. A formal announcement of the project will be made soon,” said a senior government official.

Y.P. Singh, director Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan, said: “The idea for a grander Ramlila in the temple town came up in a recent webinar on Ayodhya, which was attended by actors Raja Bundela and Vindu Dara Singh among others.

“It was felt that with many experiments and improvisations that are done with Ramlila, the original Avadhi version gets lost. Therefore, the government has, in principle, decided to create the original Ramlila this year.”

Singh said the project aims at producing a 3 to 3.5 hours-long Ramlila.

“The production will be recorded and showcased from multiple platforms on regular and social media. The effort will be promoted on popular platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook too,” he added.

Singh further said that though the entire cast had not yet been finalised, some performers include BJP leaders Manoj Tiwari who will be cast as Angad and BJP MP Ravi Kishan who will essay the role of Bharat.

Vindu Dara Singh will play Hanuman – his father Dara Singh had played the same role in the tele-serial ‘Ramayana’.

Actor Shahbaz Khan of Chandrakanta fame is likely to play the role of Ravan.

Well-known actors Ashutosh Rana and Raghubir Yadav may also become part of the mega project.

State information department, tourism and culture departments are already in talks with Delhi-based Lav Kush Ramlila committee, that organises the annual 10-day event at the Red Fort, for the Ayodhya show.

Ramlila begins on the first day of the Navaratri and concludes with the killing of demon king Ravan by Lord Ram on Dussehra.

Sanskar Bharti, the RSS cultural wing, is also involved in the project.