Each year in the town of Ramnagar, India the life of Rama is enacted as a 31-day ritual drama. Ramlila is staged in the streets, fields, and specially built theatrical environments. Not only Rama, but his wife Sita and his brothers Bharata, Lakshmana, and Shatrughna descend to earth to enact their great drama. But who is Rama? He is a god, a king, a warrior-hero—and, in today’s India, a political force, an agent of Hindu nationalism. In Ramlila, religion, ritual, theatre, and politics intersect.

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