Ramleela: This year is a special one for Ayodhya as the city will be witnessing star-studded Ramleela! Less than two kilometres from the site of the under-construction Ram Temple, on the banks of Sarayu, October 17 and 25 will come bearing a Ramleela starring actor-MPs and the event would be broadcast for audience across the country through satellite television, Google-owned video streaming platform YouTube as well as social media, according to a report in IE. The report added that the Ramleela would feature North East Delhi MP and former Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari in the role of Angad, while Ravi Kishan, who is a Bhojpuri actor and MP from Gorakhpur, would play the role of Bharat.
The event is being organised by the Meri Maa Foundation, while BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh would be the main patron of the Ramleela. Meri Maa Foundation founder Subhash Malik was quoted by the report as saying that the Ramleela would not have any audience due to the coronavirus restrictions. The episodes would be shot at the Lakshman Quila and it would be broadcast much like a film so that all viewers would remain safe at home and still be able to watch it.
Vindu Dara Singh would be seen as Hanuman, a role that he has played on TV before and also the role that became synonymous with his father, late actor Dara Singh. Veteran actors Raza Murad and Asrani would be seen as Ahiravan and Narad Muni, respectively.
Malik said that Ravan would be portrayed by Shahbaj Khan, who has a powerful voice. Meanwhile, Ritu Shivpuri would be playing the role of Kaikeyi and Vibhishan would be played by Rakesh Bedi. The role of Lord Ram would be portrayed by Sonu Dagar, while Kavita Joshi would be Lordess Sita.
The report quoted Kavita Joshi as saying that it was her good fortune to be playing the role of Sita, and it is one of the happiest moments of her life, especially because the Ramleela would, for the first time, be staged on the same soil where the foundation stone for the Ram Temple has been laid. Joshi has acted in over 25 films in Haryana’s film industry.
The report added that Dagar, a part of Sony TV’s Vighnaharta Ganesh show, and Joshi, have both started to eat simple food and sleep on the floor to prepare for their roles. Dagar said that Lord Ram was maryada purushottam and he lived an ordinary life. Therefore, he is trying to understand his life better.
The Meri Maa Foundation is connected to several prominent Ramleelas in Delhi since its inception in 2016. Malik said that the stars were casted for the Ramleela based on the actors’ performance on the Delhi Ramleela stage, adding that he had watched them perform and could vouch for them.
At a Ramleela in Delhi, Tiwari had played the role of Angad in 2018, and that of Parashuram in 2019, while Kishan has previously played Angad, Parashuram, Bhishma, Karn as well as Dronacharya.
The Ramleela which will be conducted in Ayodhya has a budget allocation of Rs 4 crore, the report added, and much of the amount has been used for building of a 90 ft by 25 ft stage. The stage has a grand durbar, flanked by a space to represent forests. Meanwhile, LED would be used for depiction of the rivers as well as other outdoor scenes. Malik said that the team was focusing on ensure that the light was state-of-the-art and the sound is clear, because previously, people watching the Ramleela had problems in being able to hear the dialogues properly. This time, he would ensure that all the nuances of the speeches are clear.