Ramlila Delayed in Varanasi as ‘Ram, Lakshman’ Sit on Dharna Against Stinking Dhanesra Pond
Annual Ramlila Celebrations on Dussehra | File Pic (Photo Credits: PTI)

Varanasi, October 8: A show of Laat Bhairo Ramlila had to face a strange hindrance after actors portraying Ram and Lakshman sat on dharna against the unhygienic conditions around Dhanesra pond where they were playing the religious act. The 'Ram' and 'Lakshman' began vomiting after Ramlila team reached the venue near the pond which was full of garbage.

The Ram-Kevat Samwad episode of the historic Laat Bhairo Ramlila was scheduled to be presented near the Dhanesra pond in Varanasi on Saturday evening. When the team arrived at the spot, they found the pond full of filth. The two artists playing Ram and Lakshman fell ill. Irked by the dirty surroundings, the two actors staged a dharna and refused to perform the act. Ramlila Maidan Will Not be Renamed Ever, Says Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari; Watch Video.

They sat on dharna in full costume along with other members of the Ramlila committee. The committee president Ram Avtar Pandey then rushed the spot and contacted the municipal commissioner. Meanwhile, ADM city Vinay Kumar Singh and additional municipal commissioner AK Singh had also reached the place. The official appealed the agitating artistes to call off their dharna.

After much pleading, the actors resumed the play. Speaking to a leading daily, Pandey alleged that some people living near the pond had conspired to stop their performance. He said the Ramlila team never faced such situation in the past, adding that no efforts were taken to clean the venue ahead of the festival. District magistrate Surendra Singh said encroachments around the pond were being removed.

Neelkanth Tiwari, the legislator from Varanasi South, said the Dhanesra pond had been selected for revival and beautification. "Once this project is complete, all the problems of locals, as well as the Ramlila committee, would be over," he was quoted as saying. The Ram-Kevat Samwad episode of the Laat Bhairo Ramlila is about Kewat taking Ram, Lakshman and Sita across the Ganga.