In Varanasi, Muslims and Hindus join to stage Ramlila

November 14th, 2007 - 2:31 am ICT by admin  
Varanasi, Oct. 19 (ANI): Many Muslims in Varanasi are giving a distinct meaning to their age-old brotherhood with Hindus here by participating in the annual Ramlila, a stage performance about Lord Rama’s life based on Hindu epic Ramayana held before Dussehra.

Though Ramlilas are mainly organised by Hindus in different parts of the country through stage performances, here many Muslims also take an active part in the Ramlila celebrations.

Muslims join the join the Hindus in playing role of Hindu Gods and others in Ramlila or preparing the effigies of demon-King Ravana, brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghnatha on Dussehra.

“Some Muslim brothers take part in Ramlila while some extend support during the making of the effigy of Ravana. Over all, they have a major role to play,” said Deepak Garg, Vice President, Ram Leela Committee, Varanasi.

Muslims taking part in the Hindu festivities admit that they receive utmost co-operation, support and affection from their Hindu brothers.

“One faces problems in an atmosphere that is new to him, but luckily, I have been associated with this programme for the past 30 years. I have never felt that I am a Muslim. There is no such difference and I am associated with it with my extreme devotion and dedication,” said Tanveer Ahmed Khan, an artist.

The audience, who have been watching this Ramlila for decades, also feel the same and believe that there is no ill-will found here. They have been witness of this communal harmony for a long time.

“Both Hindus and Muslims come here to see the Ramlila and they also take active part in it. We have never seen any kind of problem in so many years,” said Rajesh Kumar, a resident.

This drama is based on the Ramayana.The sacred text was composed by Tulsidas in the sixteenth century in a dialect that is close to Hindi in order to make the Sanskrit epic available to all.

The majority of the Ramlilas recount episodes from the Ramayana through a series of performances lasting an average of ten to twelve days, but some, such as Ramnagar’s, may last a whole month.

The celebrations of Ramlila and Dussehra mark the victory of virtue over the evil. (ANI)

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