Mumbai: State Congress has condemned the Shinde-led government for allegedly pressuring Maharashtra Ramlila Mandal and Sahitya Kala Mandal to perform Ravana Dahan one day prior to Dussehra so that Azad Maidan remains available for the Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) Dussehra rally. Mumbai Congress calls it playing with Indian culture and people's faith. City Congress president Varsha Gaikwad has warned of an agitation if any change is made in the day of Ravan Dahan. The Shiv Sena (UBT) will be holding its annual rally at Shivaji Park, while the party led by Chief Minister Shinde will hold its meeting at Azad Maidan.
Letter to Shinde
"These mandals have been organizing Ramleela at Azad Maidan for the last 48 years. The government has put pressure on both these groups to make the ground available for the rally. The government has suggested that these mandals should either perform Ravan Vadh ritual a day early or shift the entire Ramleela to some other place," Ms. Gaikwad claimed.
Protesting this, she has written a letter to Mr. Shinde. "This is an insult to Indian culture and disrespects the faith of millions of people. People expect the festival to end where it all began. Wherever Ramleela begins, the death of Ravana is expected to happen at the same place. But this government has come up with an idea that everything should be done one day prior. This does not suit those who are so proud of Indian culture," said Varsha Gaikwad.