Ministers and the masses together | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ministers and the masses together

SK Sharma, an inspector with the CISF, has come all the way from Maujpur in northeast Delhi with his wife and two children to Subhash Maidan to witness the Raavan Dahan (burning of Raavan) on the Dusshera day.

delhi Updated: Sep 29, 2009 00:17 IST
HT Correspondent

SK Sharma, an inspector with the CISF, has come all the way from Maujpur in northeast Delhi with his wife and two children to Subhash Maidan to witness the Raavan Dahan (burning of Raavan) on the Dusshera day.

“When will they burn the (effigy of) Raavan?” is the only question Sharma wants to ask. He is not alone.

Thousands of people have thronged Subhash Maidan, the venue opposite the Red Fort, for the 10-day drama on Lord Ram’s life is staged by Shri Dharmic Leela Committee. It is almost 5.30 pm and the excitement among the masses is palpable.

In attendance — following a tradition of many years — are Vice President Hamid Ansari with his wife, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibbal, Delhi Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna and Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit.

After the rituals — like the VIPs doing aarti of Ram, Laxman and Hanuman; releasing pigeons and tri-coloured balloons — comes the moment everybody was waiting for.

With a bang, the effigies of the three demons — Ravan and his brothers Meghnad and Kumbhkarn — starts burning amidst loud cheer from the crowd. The scene was no different at Ramlila Maidan, believed to be the oldest such venue for Ramlila in the national capital.

The Prime Minister, the UPA chairperson and the Chief Minister were at the Ramlila Ground as well. Gandhi’s grandchildren, accompanied by few other children of their age, were seen sitting in an enclosure with the SPG personnel.

Amidst a gathering of a few thousand people, the dignitaries greeted the Ramlila performers. Delhi and NCR witnessed around 800 big and small Ramlilas.