21/10/2015 3:38 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Hurt At Being Called Ugly, Agra Ramlila's Ravana Refuses To 'Die' At Rama's Hands

Dinodia Photos via Getty Images
Ravana in Ramleela, Dassera festival, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 1984 (Photo by Jagdish Agarwal/Dinodia Photos/Getty Images)

Lord Rama is called maryada purushottam (the ideal man) and his wife Sita is a role model for all women. But one of the central characters of Ramayana, antagonist Ravana, is known for his caprice, temper, valor and tenacity. In a country where politicians long for a Ramrajya - a utopia - demon god Ravana isn't often given his due share of importance.

For one, he has to die at the hand of Rama. There's no alternate ending.

Adding insult to injury, when organisers called a man who plays Ravana at the Agra Ramlila ugly, he decided he's had enough.

Matru Singh, who has been playing the role in Agra's 400-year-old Ramlila, has not only taken offence to being called "ugly" by the organisers of the Dussehra Shoba-Yatra Ayojan Samiti, he is also plotting revenge.

"We were not satisfied with his performance and the way Ravana was. Hence, he has been rejected for the part he used to play for us... Beautiful artistes will play lead roles of Rama, Ravana and Sita, to make our Ramlila look better and different from all," Vipin Chaudhary, executive president of the Ramlila Samiti, told TOI.

While the the final changes are still being made, Singh, who is furious and mortified that the organisers think he's not 'good-looking' enough to play the role of Ravana, has now threatened that when put on stage, he will simply refused to be beheaded by the good Rama as per the finale in the Ramlila.

Singh, who was pretty tight-lipped about his plans, did not rule out the possibility of revenge. "Clashes are always a part of Ramlila. Anything can go wrong anytime. Similar incident had occurred in 2013 when Rama-Ravana armies started fighting in real and things were really messed up," he said, remembering.

Don't hold your breath.

Also Read: FTII Chief Gajendra Chauhan To Play Shiva In Delhi's Ramlila

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