The Shri Ramlila Samiti, which organizes the oldest Ramlila in Delhi at a ground near Ajmeri Gate, will not stage the Ramlila this year, saying the authorities allowed the event too late.
Although the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has given permission to hold Ramlila on the ground, Shiv Kumar Gupta, Joint Secretary, Shri Ramlila Committee, said that a temporary COVID-19 care center is functioning on the ground, due to which the DDMA is 40 meters away. Permission was given to organize events in a limited area of
“The order has come just two days before the start of Ramlila festival. We had not prepared and it was not even possible for us to perform Ramlila in 40 meters restricted area. Hence, we decided that we will not stage this Ramlila. year too,” Mr Gupta told ANI.
Shiv Kumar Gupta, 55, said that he has been associated with this Ramlila since the age of 13 and the history of Shri Ramlila Samiti dates back to the time of Bahadur Shah Zafar, who gave permission for the Ramlila to be staged.
“This committee has been around since the time of Bahadur Shah Zafar. He had given us permission to organize a Ramlila program. A procession, which was known as ‘Ramlila Sawari’, used to be a major attraction of the committee. Starting from Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi passes through Chawri Bazar, Asaf Ali Road and ends at Ajmeri Gate.
“Politicians like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi also used to participate in the Ramlila,” he said.
Arjun Kumar, General Secretary of Ramlila Mahasangh also said that Shri Ramlila Samiti has a rich history from the time of Bahadur Shah Zafar.
“During the time of Bahadur Shah Zafar, this Ramlila used to take place on the banks of river Yamuna and queens would watch the program from the windows of Red Fort. People near Red Fort and Chandni Chowk helped to start this Ramlila. A many Prime Ministers have seen this Ramlila.”
Mr. Kumar claimed that the Shri Ramlila Samiti is the only Ramlila Samiti in Delhi that gets free water and electricity from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
Earlier on September 30, the DDMA had given permission for Ramlila festival following certain COVID-19 conditions.
According to the order of DDMA, permission will have to be taken from the District Magistrate of the area for any program related to the festival.
“Only 50 per cent people will be allowed in an event in a closed area, while in an open area this number cannot exceed 200,” the DDMA said.