Millions of Indians continued celebrating the ten-day festival of Ramlila and Dusshera on Tuesday (14 October).
Millions of Indians continued celebrating the ten-day festival of Ramlila and Dusshera on Tuesday (14 October). The festival signifies the triumph of good over evil and is held at the end of the rice harvest each year.
This year it is extremely appropriate. Despite heavy floods and almost incessant monsoons, India is going to have a record rice harvest this season.
Already five million tonnes of "paddy" have appeared on the market. This, coupled with excellent harvests in both maize and wheat, is going to give India an all-time record grain harvest.
Prospects of more plentiful food supplies have already caused dramatic drops in prices.
This year's forecast output is 115 million tonnes of grain. The previous best was 108 tonnes in 1971-72.
All this was reflected in the festival. Throughout the country millions have been jamming the streets of major towns and villages alike to watch the colourful processions.
They depict scenes from the history of Rama -- who defeated the demon King Ravana and his two evil aides to rescue his kidnapped bride, the beautiful Sita.
The drama is spun out over ten days with nightly instalments before crowds who never tire of Rama's life-and-death battle with the ten-headed demon king.
According to the legend, Rama's final weapon was a fire-tipped magic shaft which he hurled at the enemy. In a crescendo of fireworks, the effigies of Ravana and his henchmen explode and begin toppling to the ground as the crowds roar its approval during the festival re-enactments.