No fire but firearms used to kill Ravana on Dussehra

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Shajapur, MP, Oct 8 (UNI) In a unique tradition of symbolically killing mythological ten-headed demon 'Ravana' on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra, the denizens of the Malwa region in western Madhya Pradesh shoot him down instead of burning his effigy. Traditionally, people celebrated Dussehra -- in which the effigy of Ravana -- symbol of evil -- was killed by a person depicting Lord Ram -- symbol of good -- by setting fire on the former in the backdrop of religious hymns and chants.

However, in this district's Panwadi village, people kill Ravana by firing shots at his effigy for the last 40 years.

''In this village, most of the people used to carry license weapons with themselves,'' Panwadi village-based Culural Centre motivator Rajesh Khainwar told UNI here today.

He said that four decades ago the villagers planned to kill the demon with gun shots as Lord Ram also killed Ravana with arms consisting fire -- 'Agneyshashtra'.

Throngs of people gathered at the main junction of the village to observe the festival and see the modern way of killing Ravana.

Dussehra or Vijayadashami is celebrated just after the nine-day Navratri celebrations end, to mark the victory of good over evil.

Dussehra, derived from the word -- Dus Hara, -- means King of Lanka Ravana, a demon with 10 heads, defeated by Ram.

The festival is celebrated on the tenth day of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu autumn month of Ashvin or Ashwayuja.

It is also celebrated as the day of victory to rejoice about Godders Durga's triumph over the demon Mahishasura.

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