The man playing Shiva this year in Delhi's grand Ramlila at the Red Fort needs no introduction in the context of an ongoing strike at one of India's most prestigious film institutes. The Lav Kush Committee has decided to rope in Gajendra Chauhan to play Shiva even as the embattled chief of Pune's Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) continues to face unrelenting protests against his appointment.
Chauhan, whose best-known role is that of the eldest Pandava, Yudhishthir, in the '90s television series Mahabharata, has been accused by the FTII students' body of being a political appointee for his affiliation with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
"We are in talks with many celebs from Bollywood and film industry this year. We have roped in Gajendra Chauhan to play Shiva. Zarina Wahab will play the role of Shabri, Amita Nangia will play Kaushalya and Deepshikha will be seen as Mandodari in this year's Ramlila," a spokesperson from the Lav Kush Ramlila Committee told The Times of India.
According to reports, this year, the Committee has roped in several stunt directors from Mumbai, who are planning to set a stage for lots of grand stunts and aerial fight scenes.
Ashok Agarwal, chief organiser of the Ramlila, added, "We want youngsters to come and watch Ramlila. While the roles of Ram and Sita will be played by the actors who usually play the roles, we have roped in actors like Asrani, Raza Murad, Surendra Pal, Upasana Singh and Ravi Kishan to play important roles this year."