Bhim Army demands ban on ‘Ravan Dahan’

New Delhi: Bhim Army, the Dalit rights organization, has demanded the ban on ‘Ravan dahan’ or burning of the effigy of Ravan on Dussehra.

The group has written to Pune Police demanding the ban. It also said that those who burn the effigy must be booked under the SC/ST Act. The group says that Ravan was a symbol of ‘humanitarian culture’ and is regarded as an idol by many advasi (tribal) communities. The group said that he was a king, who believed in justice and equality. ‘But the history was distorted and Ravan was presented as a villain for thousands of years,’ the letter submitted to the police said.

According to report, the group has threatened law and order situation in case the police fails to impose the ban.

Apart from Bhim Army, other tribal groups in Maharashtra have also opposed the ‘Ravan Dahan’.

In Maharashtra, while there are demands of banning Ravan Dahan, in Rajasthan, when the effigies of Ravan are set ablaze across the country, his in-laws in Jodhpur, mourn his fiery end.

Significantly, there is a temple of Ravan in Jodhpur, where the people of Dave community not only worship him but at the time of shraadh paksha, perform tarpan of Ravan as well.

Shrimali Dave (Godha) Pandit Kamlesh Dave said that Shrimali Brahmin Dave (Godha) Mudgal Gautri caste used to be the foremost guards of Ravan’s army.

All of these Ravan’s descendants came to Bhinmal from South India during Lakshmi marriage. After this, they settled in different parts of the country. Population of this caste is high in Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Ravan is their ancestor. “Because of this, we stay at home on Ravan dahan and mourn and do the purification by taking bath.He said people of Dave (Godha) caste of Shrimali community also do shradh after tarpan in the name of Ravan on dashmi of shradh paksh.

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