For the fourth time in its 135-year-old history, the historic ‘Ram Baraat’ in Agra has been cancelled in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ramlila committee, headed by Agra Mayor Naveen Jain, took the decision after consulting with the state authorities.
According to sources, theevent was not organized last year due to the Covid outbreak.
It had earlier been cancelled in 1947 and 1948, due to the Partition of India and communal violence.
Rajvir Agrawal, general secretary of the Ram Baraat organising committee said: “Considering the fact that lakhs of people participate in the event, the decision has been taken not to organise the event following the threat of the Covid.”
However, to continue with the tradition, all the programs of Ram Lila and the Ram Baraat will be organised in a symbolic manner at the Mankameshwar temple.
Arrangements to telecast the events on social media are also being made.
Ram Baraat is a unique, yearly festival in which the wedding ceremony of Ram and Sita is reconstructed, right from the baraat procession to ‘bidai’.
The baraat passes through different parts of the city, and receives a grand welcome by locals and businessmen.
Artists and tableaux portraying various characters of the Ramayana are a major attraction.
Following this, a grand reception ceremony takes place at the Janak Mahal to mark the culmination of the event.