Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Consecration of Ram Lalla’s idol in Ayodhya will be a shot in the arm for the art of making traditional weapons of India, bow and arrow, believes a bowyer Hitesh Tirgar. Twenty-eight-year-old Hitesh, from the Banswara area in Rajasthan, who is in Bhopal to display his art at Lokrang at Ravindra Bhawan, said family have been into making bow and arrow professionally. A bow and an arrow made by him were worshipped when Ram Lalla’s idol was consecrated in Ayodhya, he said.
The weight of the 5x5 bow and arrow, made up of bamboo and Jhau wood, is 1.2 kg and 25gm. Worshipping a bow and an arrow is part of showing adoration to Lord Ram who had the mastery over using this weapon. This is the reason why a bow and an arrow were also worshipped when Ram Lalla’s idol was consecrated.
“My forefathers used to make the bow and arrow for hunting and it was used by archers. But now things have changed. We have modified it so that everyone can use it whether they are adults or children,” Hitesh said, adding that earlier the weight of a bow and arrow was 10 kg and 100 gm respectively.
According to the bow maker, around 10 families in his village are associated with the profession and earn their livelihood. “The work of men and women is distributed. Men make bows whereas women make arrows,” says Hitesh who is preparing for a government job. He has displayed the bows and arrows which are 10-12 ft and its price ranges from Rs 1,150 to Rs 1500.
“We are participating in the Lokrang for the second time. Earlier people didn't value art but now they are. We are hoping that the Consecration of Ram Lalla’s idol in Ayodhya will boost our extinct art,” Hitesh said.