The Ramayana not just transcends religious and linguistic differences, but borders too. In a first, nearly a dozen Muslim artistes from Indonesia will enthral audience by reenacting scenes of the Ramayana in Ayodhya and Lucknow.
“A Ramlila Samiti from Indonesia will reenact the scenes of the Ramayana in Ayodhya and Lucknow from September 13 to September 15,” UP religious affairs and culture minister Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary told PTI.
“All the artistes are Muslims. Neither they eat non- vegetarian food nor they believe in violence in any form,” he said.
It is for the first time such a Ramlila is being organised in the state, the minister said. The artistes will perform in Lucknow on September 13 and in Ayodhya on September 15.
The minister said the government wanted to send out a message of cultural integration. “Despite Indonesia being a Muslim-dominated country, they do not have any problem with Ramlila,” he said.
In Ayodhya, the programme will be held at Swami Vivekanand auditorium of Avadh University.
Avadh University vice-chancellor Prof Manoj Dixit said, “A number of lessons can be drawn from this. Ramlila has a strong cultural link with Indonesia.”
“A large number of artistes are Muslims, but they love their cultural past. We want that Ramlila of all the 65 countries, where it is performed, is staged in the Ramnagiri of Ayodhya,” he said, adding there are 100 versions of the folk drama in India.