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Virtual ‘Deepotsav’ in Ayodhya Instead of Ram Lila

The Virtual Celebration of Diwali in Ayodhya Due to COVID-19

The Ayodhya administration has denied permission for Ram Lila in Ayodhya due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, the administration has started preparations to organize a grand star-studded ‘virtual Deepotsav’ on the occasion of Diwali.

The ‘Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan’ – the government department that organizes the performance of Ram Lila – had sought permission to start the performance of Ram Lila in open on the premises of Ayodhya museum after the government allowed the assembly of 100 persons in social gatherings but the permission was denied.

On Diwali night, while select volunteers would be physically allowed to light up ‘Diyas’ on the banks of the Saryu strictly following COVID protocols, a mammoth 3D virtual platform will be created for every citizen to illuminate the banks by a simple swipe on their mobiles from the comfort of their homes.

Speaking to IANS, Director, Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan, Y.P. Singh, said, “A link will be sent to mobile phones of every resident who can click on an icon and a ‘Diya’ will be lit virtually. A certificate from the government will immediately flash on their mobiles.”

This continuous Ram Lila was started by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on May 3, 2017, and was being performed continuously till March 21 this year.

Ayodhya
A grand celebration of Diwali in Ayodhya lighting 5.5 lakh lamps in Saryu River in 2019. Wikimedia commons

Manager of ‘Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan’ Ram Teerath, said, “300 Ram Lila artists are facing issues of livelihood for the last 7 months as after the suspension of the performance of Ram Lila, the government did not issue payments to them. Ram Lila artists are unemployed since March 21 due to the lockdown.

Minister for Tourism and Culture Nilkanth Tiwari has issued detailed instructions to Ayodhya administration for the celebration of ‘Virtual Deepotsav’.

Also Read: High Levels of Air Pollution Leads to Increase in Electricity Consumption: Study

Tiwari, during his visit to Ayodhya, held a review meeting, and said “this Deepotsav a new record of the lighting of Diyas would be created, this tradition started by CM Yogi will be observed with full spirit and with a grand celebration following the corona guidelines.”

“A virtual platform will be developed from the banks of river Saryu to Ram Katha Park to control the crowd and only volunteers will be allowed to light the lamps following the COVID guidelines, however, the common people will connect themselves with this virtual Deepotsav by lighting up Diyas in their homes,” said Tiwari.

He said that the final decision over this virtual Deepotsav is yet to be taken by the Chief Minister. (IANS)

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