More than 60 schoolchildren staged a 30 minute show during a Ramlila performance in Greater Noida on October 11 to pay tributes to the soldiers killed in Uri attack and the Indian Army’s subsequent ‘surgical strike’ across the Line of Control in Pakistan.
“Students worked hard to stage this special play on the theme of surgical strikes on the Ramlila stage. We want to pay our respect to the soldiers of the Indian Army and their families who make sacrifices to protect our borders. The play was meant to showcase our protest against terrorism,” said Vinod Kasana, spokesperson of Shree Ramlila Committee, Greater Noida.
Members of Shree Ram Mitra Mandal Committee, Noida, on the other hand, added that king Ravana’s effigy this year, that will be burnt at Noida Stadium, will symbolize the end of terrorism.
“The character of Ravana is a symbol of evil, inhumanity, violence and negativity, just like terrorism. Terrorists are spreading violence to disturb peace in our society and attacking our borders. To express solidarity with soldiers of the Indian Army, who have been engaging terrorists, we decided to symbolise terrorism with Ravana and end it by burning his effigy,” said Raghwendra Dube, spokesperson of Shree Ram Mitra Mandal Committee, Noida.
Noida police said they had taken adequate security measures to ensure safety at the Ramlila’s event being organised on Sector 21A ground.
“Police have built two platforms and deployed four armed constables on each one to keep an eye on miscreants. Provincial armed constabulary (PAC) and local police have cordoned off the area around the ground. Due to a high alert against terrorist threats around Dussehra, security has been beefed up comparatively this year,” said Dube.
Dinesh Yadav, superintendent of police, Noida, confirmed that the two raised platforms (machans) were put in place keeping in mind Noida’s vulnerability to terrorist threats.
The Shree Ramlila committee in Greater Noida, on the other hand, said they would send out a message this year that the entire country stands united against terrorism by burning an effigy of terrorism along with Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakaran.
Both the Ramlila committees in Noida and Greater Noida have built 70-feet high effigies of Ravana.
The Noida Ramlila committee has also come up with a 65-feet high Kumbhakarn effigy and 60 feet high effigy of Meghnad.
“With our Ramlila, we aim to send out a message that India is known for its unity in diversity. Half a dozen artistes in our Ramlila are Muslims proving our cultural diversity,” said Kasana, spokesperson of Shree Ramlila Committee, Greater Noida.