New Delhi: Delhiites were soaked in joyful mood as they enthusiastically celebrated Dussehra by setting afire towering effigies of Ravana along with his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran, marking triumph of good over evil as leaders, setting aside their political rivalries, joined the festivities.
Participating in the celebrations at Parade Ground in Central Delhi, President Pranab Mukherjee appealed to people to leave aside their differences and maintain India’s unity and integrity, amid rising incidents intolerance. Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and BJP chief Amit Shah were among a large number of dignitaries besides Mukherjee who watched the burning of effigies.
“Dussehra is a symbol of our ancient culture and we should forget our differences and work towards nation building. That will be our victory. I appeal to the people to maintain unity and integrity of the nation and contribute to the country’s development,”
Mukherjee said in his brief speech. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited to the celebrations but he could attend as he has travelled to Andhra Pradesh where he laid laying the foundation stone for its capital city Amaravati.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh was present at the celebrations in Ramlila ground here.
Today’s burning of Ravana’s effigies marks the end of Navaratra and the beginning of 20-day-long wait for Diwali, festival of lights, to celebrate the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya after killing the demon king.
Dressed in their festive best, people attended Ramlilas across city where artistes enacted the final battle episode of Ramayana where Lord Ram kills Ravana and brings back his wife Sita to Ayodhya on ‘Vijaydashmi’.
The effigies were set ablaze amid chants in praise of Lord Ram, people witnessed spectacular fireworks which illuminated the sky leaving many in awe. People also visited friends and relatives and exchanged gifts. A large number of people were seen bursting crackers to mark the festivities while others went to market places on a shopping spree.
Elaborate security arrangements were made to ensure that the festivities go without any untoward incident. Police kept a tight vigil in the city, a senior official said.
Source: The new Indian Express