A lawyer based out of Mathura has filed a petition marking the president and the prime minister requesting a ban on the burning of Ravana effigies on the festive eve Dussehra.
The lawyer, Omveer Saraswat claims to represent the Saraswat Brahmin community.
Omveer explains, Ravana, the king of Lanka in the epic tale of Ramayana belonged to the Saraswat Brahmin community and that burning effigy (Ravana Dahan) would be an “insult” to community members and many others who “worshipped” him.
A letter was written to President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath earlier this month by Omveer.
Omveer claims in his letter that many communities worshipped Ravana and also mentioned about the vast idol of the Lankan king in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh and a temple in Bisrakh in Great Noida near Delhi. He also says that people offer prayers to Ravana before beginning any auspicious work.
He quotes the Constitution granted freedom to all citizens to practice their religion.
"We (Saraswat Brahmins) are also citizens of this country, and burning of (Ravana's) effigies hurts our religious sentiments," he wrote.
Saraswat requested the practice be ceased as many Hindu religious texts such as the Srimad Bhagwat Puran also accepted Ravana's wisdom and farsightedness.
On a practical note, he also pointed out towards a range of mishaps and accidents such as stampedes and fires during Dussehra celebrations, some even leading to deaths in the recent years.
Dussehra is a Hindu festival celebrated across the country, particularly the northern region, to mark the defeat of Ravana by Lord Ram in the epic Ramayana. This year Dussehra will be celebrated on September 30.
"We have been awaiting a response to our letter. If our demand is not met, we are considering taking legal recourse," Saraswat told PTI.
Information source: ptinews
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