In a new twist to this year’s Ramleela in Rajasthan, the actor playing the character of Lord Ram refused to shoot the Ravan with his arrow saying that the real demon was sitting next to him.
Instead, Manoj Kumar Mali, as reported by Hindustan Times, called the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) mandal president in Sirohi, Suresh Sagarvanshi, the demon king.
“The actual Ravana is sitting on the stage, politicising every issue. Given this scenario, Lord Ram has to return disappointed,” Mali was quoted as saying.
Rajasthan currently has a BJP government headed by Vasundhara Raje Scindia.
One of the allegations Mali leveled against the local BJP leader was that the committee presided over by Sagarvanshi received more money as a grant from the municipal council than all the other committees.
“Sagarvanshi is known to do politics over trivial issues. In Sirohi there are around 20 Garba committees that organise cultural programmes during Navratri,” Mali told the Hindustan Times.
“All the other committees get Rs 11,000 as grant while the one where Sagarvanshi is involved gets Rs 31,000. Moreover, even though the Dussehra programme was organised by the municipal council, most of the councillors were not present which again suggested petty politics at play,” he added.
Mali along with other actors portraying various Hindu Gods later walked off the state shouting anti-BJP slogans. The organisers, who were left red-faced, dressed one of the children present in the audience as Ram to shoot the effigy of Ravan.