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Nawazuddin Siddiqui Forced out of Village Ramlila Act Amidst Shiv Sena Protest


First published: October 7, 2016, 2:58 PM IST | Updated: October 7, 2016
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Nawazuddin Siddiqui Forced out of Village Ramlila Act Amidst Shiv Sena Protest
A file photo of Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

A Ramlila programme featuring actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been cancelled following opposition by a religious group here, police said.

The actor had said that he would play the character of Maricha in the programme.

Maricha is a rakshasa (demon), who is killed by Rama. His most notable exploit is his role in the kidnapping of Sita, Rama's wife.

The Ramlila program featuring Nawazuddin at Budhana town has been cancelled over opposition by some Hindu activists, SP (rural) Rakesh Jolly said.

President of the Ram Leela Committee Damodar Prasad Sharma told a leading daily, “ A few members of the Shiv Sena didn’t want a Muslim man to play a character in Ram Leela. Then the police told us that we should not let Nawazuddin participate and, if at all we do, and there is a problem during the show, we will have to take responsibility. We were not ready for that, there were just too many people in the audience, we couldn’t have controlled the crowds in case of a ruckus.”

The organisers had to cancel the programme after the activists approached them and expressed their displeasure over Nawazuddin participation, he added.

Dharmendra Goyal, who plays Marich in the production told a daily, "We were really looking forward to his performance. Over 2,000 people had come here yesterday but a few hours before the show we were told he will not perform. He rehearsed for two hours with the team yesterday, learnt the lines… but the plans changed in the last minute,”.

The actor later tweeted about his childhood dream not being fulfilled. He tweeted a video of his rehearsal for his fans.

Siddiqui, who hails from Budhana had got in touch with the Ramlila committee of his village to be part of the production.

(With inputs from PTI)

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