The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has announced that it will revive the old tradition of Ramleela across the state.
Urban Development and Housing Minister Jaivardhan Singh told The Indian Express that the government plans to ensure that a Ramleela stage is built in all 378 urban local bodies. He said he has asked the department to find areas where such stages and Ramleela mandlis exist.
The Kamal Nath government will build stages in all urban local bodies or refurbish them if they already exist.
Singh said the first plan is to revive or form Ramleela groups, which were commonplace in the past but not any longer. He said building a Ramleela manch will not cost much for the government but it will do a lot to revive an old tradition that bound people together.
When asked if the ruling party was trying to shed its old image, Singh said a Ramleela takes place every year at Raghogarh, his family’s ancestral town in Guna district, and it has nothing to do with politics or religion.
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Singh first made the announcement at Bareli in Raisen district on the sidelines of the ‘Aapki Sarkar Aapke Dwar’ campaign.
“Staging of Ramleela is our old tradition. Keeping this identity and tradition alive is our common responsibility,” he tweeted, adding that the government will bear the cost.
The Congress government has also promised to build a Ram Van Gaman Path to trace the route that Lord Ram took while on exile.
The government has also promised to expand the Ramraja Mandir in Orchha and has started building gaushalas at government expense, while accusing the previous BJP government of paying lip service to the cause of cows and using it to further its political agenda.
The opposition BJP was not impressed.
“Given the infighting among minister and bureaucrats, the Congress government should instead build smaller stages for Mahabharat. The government should first answer what happened to the Ram Van Gaman Path that it promised to build and the announcement by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh to give land in Bhopal for a Ram temple,” said BJP spokesman Rahul Kothari.