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A Stinking Pond Makes ‘Ram’ and ‘Lakshman’ Stage Protest at Ramlila in Varanasi

The stink was so revolting, the two artists playing Ram and Lakshman started to throw up. The enraged artists sat on a dharna at the site and resumed the show only after many hours of pleading.

News18.com

Updated:October 8, 2018, 8:30 AM IST
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A Stinking Pond Makes ‘Ram’ and ‘Lakshman’ Stage Protest at Ramlila in Varanasi
Representative Image. (Image: PTI)
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Varanasi: The people of Varanasi who had gathered near Dhanesra Pond on Saturday to watch the spectacle of the historic Laat Bhairo Ramlila were in for a surprise. The actors who were going to perform the ‘Ram-Kevat samwad’ episode, along with the other members of the Ramlila committee, were sitting on a dharna instead.

Decked up in the avatars of Ram and Lakshman, the actors were protesting against the persistent unhygienic conditions around the pond that had been a cause for disease and malaise in the area, Times of India reported.

The crew that performs most of its acts at the Laat Bhairo temple in Adampura moves to the Dhanesara pond for two episodes to give the viewers a “touch of reality”.

However, this time when the Ramlila crew reached the pond, they found the place choking with garbage. The stink was so revolting, the two artists playing Ram and Lakshman started to throw up. The enraged artists sat on a dharna at the site and resumed the show only after many hours of pleading.

When the news of dharna reached the committee president Ram Avtar Pandey, he rushed to the spot to mitigate the situation.

ADM city Vinay Kumar Singh and additional municipal commissioner AK Singh also rushed there to convince the actors to call off their protests. Finally, after the officers assured the Ramlila team that the pond and the Ramlila ground would be cleaned, the Saturday episode of ‘Ram-Kevat Samvad’ was performed.

Pandey told TOI that the Ramlila was being performed since 1545 but such a problem was never faced in the past. He alleged people living near the pond had conspired to stop the centuries-old event by dumping garbage. He added that no efforts were made to clean the premises to prepare it for the festive season.
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