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Dussehra in the time of surgical strikes: Ravan plays Pakistan

Pathikrit Sanyal
Pathikrit SanyalOct 11, 2016 | 16:15

Dussehra in the time of surgical strikes: Ravan plays Pakistan

The Indian Army may be successfully executing surgical strikes against Pakistan, but civilians have found a better way to rid themselves of the rising India-Pakistan tension. From Ludhiana to Amritsar to Delhi, Dussehra celebrations this year are paying a special tribute to Pakistan.

Amritsar saw a huge Pakistani flag-clad effigy of Ravana with Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's face on it and Ludhiana is readying another one of his effigies - though this one is sees him in the company of Hafiz Saeed, as his son Meghnad.

"The reason we have affixed Nawaz Sharif's photo is because the country shelters terrorism, it promotes them and exports them to other countries. I believe that this will convey a message to Pakistan that if it doesn't reign in terrorists, it will meet the same end like this effigy," Punjab Cabinet minister Anil Joshi told ANI.

Pakistan's attack on Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, which claimed the lives of 18 Indian soldiers, has solidified Nawaz Sharif's claim as the modern-day Ravana (who Indians have come to hate). Even Delhi chose to do something thematically similar. A green-coloured Ravana in Dwarka, New Delhi bore the words "Atankwaad ka janmdata, Pakistan Pakistan (the creator of terror)" stood tall, waiting to be burnt to the ground.

Another Ravana effigy in Delhi marked the words "Pakistan murdabad"in bold, leaving no room for doubt about the deadly influence of the neighbour. From Dawood Ibrahim to Hafiz Saeed to Nawaz Sharif, it represented every evil has had to contend with as the ten heads of the demon king of Lanka.

It is not just effigies that have launched a full-blown symbolic war on Pakistan.

Over enthusiastic BJP workers in Varanasi, which is due for polls in 2017, put up giant banners that depicted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Lord Rama, Nawaz Sharif as Ravana and for some inexplicable reason, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as Meghnad. Maybe we ought to get a little more original.

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In Varanasi, ahead of Dussehra. Photo credit: ANI

These thematic Dussehra effigies are, however, not a new trend.

Ravana has been our placeholder for all kinds of social evils over the centuries. But with a spate of terror strikes from across the border fuelling a sense of fear among Indians - and with Modi as the "destroyer of all evil", scores of civilians, not their Army, will carry out a surgical strike by burning these dark effigies that embody Pakistan.

Last updated: October 11, 2016 | 16:20
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