Hindus, Muslims prepare for Ramlila

Muslims take part in Ramlila in a big way across the state and don the roles of Lord Rama, Laxman and other characters of the Hindu epic, Ramayana. The famous Ramlila of Buxi-ka-Talab about 20 kilometres from Lucknow, which is a regular annual feature, is organised and managed by Muslims only.

“The Ramlila will start from the second week of next month,” said Nawab Mirzafar Abdullah, patron of ‘Drishya Bharati’, the organisation that manages and holds the event. Nawab Mirzafar’s brother Masadullah is an expert in dress designing and he has been assigned the task of arranging dresses for the actors.

Besides managing Ramlila shows, Muslims were also engaged in preparing dresses for the artists and making light and sound arrangements for the shows. “Muslims have been an integral part of Ramlila in the Awadh region...whether it is constructing the stage for the shows or even donning the roles of various characters,” says Nawab Syed Masoon Raza, scion of the Royal Family of Awadh.

There were many Muslims, who could recite couplets from ‘Ramcharitmanas’, the Hindi text based on Ramayana  written by Tulsidas. “They can also fluently speak the dialogues, as they have been taking part in Ramlila shows for many years,” the nawab said.

Ather Nabi, associated with the UP Hindu-Urdu Literature Award Committee, was also among the organisers of the Ramlila at Buxi-ka-Talab. In fact this year, there would be a seminar on the occasion of Ramlila entitled ‘Participation of Muslims in Ramlila’, Nabi said.
A large number of Ramlila shows are organised in different parts of UP during the ‘navratras’. They begin around the start of the navaratras and continue well after them.

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