MATHURA: Shankaracharya Adhokshjanand Dev Tirth Maharaj has requested President Ram Nath Kovind to abolish the "orthodox practice" of burning of demon king Ravana's effigy as part of the Dussehra festival.
Talking to reporters here on Sunday, the Hindu religious leader requested the president to issue orders to "abolish the custom as it is not only against the basic Hindu culture but it also opens the gate for Joda Phatak-type tragedy".
He was referring to the tragedy near Amritsar in Punjab, in which 59 people were mowed down by a train after a crowd of Dussehra revellers had spilled onto railway tracks while watching the burning of Ravana effigy.
He said that according to Hindu mythology, last rites of a deceased are performed only once, and Ravana's last rites were performed by Vibhishana in the presence Lord Ram. He said the burning of effigies in large-scale also causes pollution.