Even as several subaltern groups across the country hold ‘Mahishasur Divas’ to mourn the mythological death of Mahishasur at the hands of Durga, usually celebrated as Dussehra by some sections of Hindu society, a Dravidian Periyarist fringe group in Chennai has said that it will celebrate ‘Ravan Leela’ this year.
Ram Leela on Dussehra day is an important part of celebrations in most parts of northern India, where an effigy of Ravan is burnt and brought down with explosives.
The Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam has organized a ‘Ravan Leela’ in Chennai on Wednesday.
Speaking to The News Minute, Tha Kumaron, Chennai District Secretary, Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, said that they are celebrating Ravan Leela to protest against the age-old practice of Ram Leela. “We have also written a letter to Prime Minister Modi, asking the government to stop Ram Leela in Delhi every year,” he says, but there has been no response.
He says that Ravan and his brothers were Dravidians, and when their effigies are burnt in Delhi it is insensitive towards the Dravidian people. It is in response to that they will be burning not just an effigy of Ram, but also Sita and Lakshman.
So why rake up the Ram Leela issue here, when it is hardly celebrated in Tamil Nadu?
“It does not matter if ‘Ram Leela’ is celebrated in Tamil Nadu or not. In Delhi, effigies of Ravana and his two brothers are burnt, we believe that they are Dravidians and burning their effigies is mocking us. So to stop that, we have decided to celebrate ‘Ravana Leela’ in which we will be burning the effigies of Ram, Sita and Lakshman,” says. Kumaron
He also added that they had written a letter to Prime Minister asking him to stop Ram Leela in Delhi but they did not get any response from his office.
The program is scheduled to be held at Sanskrit School on Wednesday evening.
This is the first time that the group is celebrating ‘Ravana Leela’ and it could hurt the feelings of Hindu groups in the state as Vijaya Dashami is considered auspicious.