‘Ram or crackers had no place in my Diwali’

The grand celebration by the UP government and the claim that firecrackers are integral to the festival goes against the ethos of the many narratives of Diwali. Noah Seelam/AFP The last few years the Uttar Pradesh government has presented to its citizens some of the best immersive theatre experiences of all time. Last year, no less than 1.74 lakh earthen lamps lit up the city of Ayodhya on Diwali, as actors dressed as Ram, Sita and Lakshman got off a blue helicopter. It was a shame the vimaan was not painted saffron, because at heart that was the agenda of the reenactment. On the apron, Dasharatha’s gym-toned sons and Sita, who was decked in an ornate lehenga, posed for a photocall, before being greeted by the chief minister. This year,