Mumbai Police Force One chief to drive multi-media event devoted to Lord Ram

Mumbai, May 16 (IANS): Krishna Prakash is better known as the officer who heads Force One, the elite counter-terrorism unit of the Mumbai Police, but he's now busy with something softer -- and nobler.

The Additional Director General of Police (ADG)-rank officer is bringing the festival 'Sab Me Ram Shashwat Shri Ram' to Mumbai to share what he describes as the "strength of steel" he derives from Lord Ram's life and teachings.

The super cop has visualised the festival in a way that he tells the story of Lord Ram through music, literature, dance and theatre. Ahead of the event, ADG Singh spoke to IANS about the idea behind it.

Krishna believes that Lord Ram's universal appeal cuts across ideologies and transcends the boundaries of time. He told IANS, "Even the Bhakti saint-poet Kabir, who follows the Nirgun Niraakaar school of devotion, sings about Lord Ram existing in one and all. Sufi poetry talks about Lord Ram as much as Bhakti poetry. Tulsidas's Ram is the same as Kabir’s Ram."

He said he had put together a multi-media experience to project the glory of Lord Ram because it is immersive and draws the spectator or listener immediately into the story

The venues for the event are Gateway of India (from where, incidentally, he swam to the Elephanta Caves), Mumbai University and Ballard Pier. The top cop said that each of the three venues had been chosen because of their heritage value and dignity.

Prakash told IANS, "The Gateway of India is a sign of how India never lost its spirit and grandeur in spite of the British onslaught on its culture and sense of self-respect. The Gateway also symbolises how Lord Ram crossed the ocean to accomplish his aim. It will also draw us visually to the narrative we wish to recreate with dance, music and poetry."

He then spoke about Mumbai University, saying it is a seat of knowledge and wisdom, so it is natural that all literature-related discussions are to be hosted here. "Having the university partner with us is a feather in our cap as it represents all that higher knowledge that we associate with Lord Ram," Krishna said.

Ballard Pier, the police officer continued, is being used for the first time for a cultural event because that neighbourhood is representative of South Mumbai's culture and commerce.

Delving deeper into the literary programme, Krishna said, "The Hindi Sahitya Bharti and Maharashtra Rajya Hindi Sahitya Akademi are organising it. It is natural therefore that enlightened and erudite scholars would be a part of the discussions and lecture series. The subjects will include the poetry of Rama, the female characters of Ramayana, the various Ramayanas of Valmiki, Tulsidas, Kamban, Krittivas, and so many others."

Besides international speakers from Indonesia, Thailand and several other countries, spiritual personalities such as Swami Govind Dev Giri Maharaj of Ayodhya, Prof B.R. Shankaranand, head of Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, and Shashwatanand Giri Maharaj will speak at the event.

It is Krishna's dream "to make everyone understand what Ram means". He said: "Lord Ram has different facets. He is all-inclusive. He is everywhere. He is the karma - the dharma - the thought."

'Sab Me Ram Shashwat Shri Ram' will be held across Mumbai from May 31 to June 2.



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Title: Mumbai Police Force One chief to drive multi-media event devoted to Lord Ram

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