NEW DELHI: Dussehra or Vijayadashami, which used to be a day for a fairly innocuous photo-op in earlier years, has become the stage for a political Ram Leela in the aftermath of the Uri terror strike and the cross-LoC surgical strike that followed.
Already, social media has been full of memes casting the India-Pakistan border tension in metaphors borrowed from the Ramayana — complete with the idea of crossing over to another territory and decimating it.
And then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words resonated directly with the mood when he said “this Vijayadashami is special”.
At his rally in Lucknow on Tuesday, he kept the references rather broad but the inferences were clear to make.
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If the ruling BJP was basking in the glow of victory, military as well as metaphorical, having cast Pakistan as Lanka, Congress president Sonia Gandhi could also not remain in vanvaas.
Despite her health issues, Sonia decided to attend not one but two Ramlilas in Delhi.
Not a political word was uttered of course, but it seemed to answer to some compulsion to chime with the popular mood.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh accompanying the party chief, chose not to keep quiet. Lucknow it seemed had put New Delhi into silence.
The city-state’s otherwise voluble Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was busy basking in Bollywood glory — taking part in a Dussehra event with Ajay Devgan.
In Lucknow, if the PM’s opponents were looking at a political speech, they were disappointed. He spoke on terrorism as a challenge to humanity.And of Ravana as manifestation of all ills within and outside — from lack of sanitation to female foeticide.