Arrows were fired to set the effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakaran ablaze at the Parade Ground on Saturday, an event that was attended by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi among a host of other dignitaries.
The burning of the giant effigies, signifying the triumph of good over evil, was organised by the Shri Dharmik Leela Committee, which has been organising the city’s one of the most high-profile Raamlila events at the grounds opposite the historic Red Fort since 1924.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, union ministers Harsh Vardhan, Vijay Goel, Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Manoj Tiwari were also among those present.
Speaking at the event, Modi said that festivals “are a medium of education and teach us unity. Though it has been thousands of years, but the tales of Lords Rama and Krishna enhance consciousness in our society.”
He also urged the people to take a pledge on the occasion and contribute to the process of nation building.
President Kovind said “we all should work towards growth and overall development of the society.”
Last year, Modi had participated in the Dussehra celebrations in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh which was then facing assembly elections.
Earlier, the President, the Vice President and former Prime Minister Singh applied ‘tilak’ on the foreheads of the Ramlila participants playing the roles of Rama, Laxmana and Hanuman, the chief protagonists of the epic Ramayana, parts of which are enacted during the Navratra celebrations that culminated on Saturday on Dussehra with the slaying of Ravana.
BJP chief Amit Shah attended another such event nearby, organised by the Luv Kush Ram Lila commitee near the Red Fort, while Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi attended the one organised by the Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee.