As the demon king Ravan is all set to go up in flames on Tuesday, effigy-makers are receiving demands from customers to either make an extra effigy of 'Terrorism' or the demon king with anti-terrorism slogans. The current demand is in sync with the nationalist mood in the country after cross-LoC strikes conducted by the Indian army.
While taking a walk down Titarpur, the area around TagoreGarden, that becomes home to effigy makers in the monthsleading to Dussehra, one can see effigies being loaded intotrucks and being sent to various places like Haryana,Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
However, an effigy that immediately catches attention isa black-coloured giant with slogans like 'Pakistan Murdabad' and 'Nawaz Sharif jaisi karni waisi bharni'.
"We have made 10-12 Ravan effigies with anti-Pakistan messages. This year, many people who ordered Ravan effigiessaid that they want to send out a strong message againstterrorism.
"Many of them have asked us to paint slogans on Ravan condemning terrorism. These effigies have been covered inblack paper with messages written in silver," says Mahendra, who has made the effigy.
Every year, the Ravan effigies are made with a theme."Last year, effigies were given names like Don, Khalnayak and this year, we are seeing the anti-terrorism wave," says Subhash, another effigy maker.
"Many people who wish to avoid any controversy haveordered effigies that are covered in green paper and symbolisePakistan. They have asked us not to write any messages butthey have ordered for green-coloured effigies," says Kishore, another effigy maker.
Effigy makers say that many people have ordered an extraeffigy that will be burnt alongside the effigies of Ravan,Kumbhakaran and Meghnath.
"In our Ramlila, we have had posters saluting oursoldiers who were killed in the Uri attacks and when DefenceMinister Manohar Parrikar visited our Ramlila, we had anhour-long programme dedicated to the Indian Army.
"Tomorrow when the effigies go up in flames, we will beburning a fourth effigy symbolising terrorism," said ArjunKumar, secretary, Lav Kush Ramlila Committee.
The Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee has opted for asimilar way to send a message against terrorism. "We will have a black-coloured effigy that will haveanti-terrorism slogans painted on it and it will be burntalong side the effigies of Ravan, Meghnath and Kumbhkaran,"said Rahul Sharma, press secretary, Nav Shri Dharmik LilaCommittee.