Ramlila Maidan also Ramlila Ground is a playground located in New Delhi, India. It is used for religious festivals, major political rallies and meetings, and entertainment events. It is located near New Delhi Railway Station and Delhi Gate.
The Ramilila Maidan was originally a large pond before 1930. It was filled up in the early 1930s so that annual Ramlila could be shifted here from the flood plains behind Red Fort
. It quickly became a popular site for political meetings, with Gandhiji, Nehru, Sardar Patel and other top nationalist leaders addressing rallies here. A small pond is still there inside the Ramlila ground as a remembrance of its history.
Jayaprakash Narayan along with prominent Opposition leaders, addressed a mammoth rally with over a lakh people participating on June 25, 1975. This was the first protest in Ramlila Maidan, which was against Indira Gandhi's government.This was Jayaprakash Narayan last rally before he was arrested.Just after Emergency situation was removed in India, in February 1977, several anti-Congress(opposition) leaders came on a common platform of to form Janata Party.
The Joint rally was held at Ramlila and was led by several opposition leaders Jagjivan Ram, Morarji Desai, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Charan Singh and Chandra Shekhar. Since Vajpayee had by then already acquired the reputation of a master orator, large crowds turned up to listen to him, as also the other speakers. The rally also a large number of Muslims had turned up to hear the Shahi Imam, Bukhari Senior, who had extended their backing to the Janata Party.
Ramlila Maidan was also venue for Swami Ramdev for his indefinite hunger strike on 4 June, 2011 to bring back the black money stashed in tax havens abroad, which saw 65,000 odd supporters. However, the event came to highlight when Delhi Police on 6 June along with a large police force lobbed tear gas shells, burned the place and lathicharge the crowd at 1 am (IST) to evict them.
2011 again saw anti-corruption protests in the month of August; this time from the Gandhian Anna Hazare.The month of November of the same year saw another gathering, this time mainly from the minorities under the banner Social Justice conference. The conference sought to build the nation on the ideals of social justice that the nation was lacking even after 6 decades of independence.