Over 150 year old Ramlila, which is one of the oldest is not going to be organised this year. The Ramlila was every year organised in a ground that is near Ajmeri Gate. This year Ramlila will not take place as the permission was granted too late by the senior authorities.
The official said, “The order has come just two days before the Ramlila celebration begins. We had not done the preparation and it was also not possible for us to demonstrate Ramlila in a 40-meter restricted area. Therefore, we decided that we will not stage Ramlila this year too.”
The DDMA (Delhi Disaster Management Authority) has allowed to organise Ramlila at the ground but the Joint Secretary of the Shri Ramlila Committee, Shiv Kumar Gupta, said, A COVID-19 temporary care centre is working in the ground, so we are permitted to perform in the area of 40 metres. He told ANI,”The order has come just two days before the Ramlila celebration begins. We had not done the preparation and it was also not possible for us to demonstrate Ramlila in a 40-meter restricted area. Therefore, we decided that we will not stage Ramlila this year too.” He further told that he is working for Ramlila since he was 13 year old. He told that Ramlila was even organised in the Bahadur Shah Zafar times, as he also gave the permission for the same.
55-year-old Shiv Kumar Gupta said ,”This committee has been there since the times of Bahadur Shah Zafar. He gave us permission to stage the Ramlila event. A procession, known as the `Ramlila Sawaari`, used to be a big highlight of the committee. The procession used to start from Chandni Chowk in old Delhi passes through Chawri Bazar, Asaf Ali Road and used to end in Ajmeri gate.” “Politicians like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi also used to attend the Ramlila,” he added.
The General Secretary of Ramlila Mahasangh, Arjun Kumar, said “During times of Bahadur Shah Zafar, this Ramlila used to take place at the banks of River Yamuna and queens used to watch the event from windows of the Red Fort. People near the Red Fort and Chandni Chowk helped this Ramlila to get started. A lot of Prime Ministers have seen this Ramlila.”
Arjun Kumar, informed that the only committee to get free water and electricity supply from the municipal Corporation of Delhi is Shri Ramlila Committee. On September 30, a celebration of Ramlila was permitted by DDMA following the COVID-19 protocols.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority, said, “In an event in a closed area, only 50 per cent of the people will be allowed, while in the open area this number cannot exceed 200.”