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Why servitors are opposed to quality check of Mahaprasad in Odisha’s Shri Mandir?

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Apr 22:

Barely two days after Justice B P Das Commission of Inquiry on Sri Mandir reforms submitted its interim report to Odisha government, there have been stiff opposition from several quarters on the proposed quality checks on Mahaprasad before it is being sold to the devotees.

The suggestion of the Commission to go for quality checks has evoked mixed reactions from the servitors and others associated with the temple affairs.

The servitors have alleged that the state government is breaking the age-old traditions of the world famous 12th century shrine.

“It is an attempt by some unscrupulous elements to show Mahaprasad in poor light. The plan to go for quality checks of the Mahaprasad by food inspectors is inappropriate. This will hurt the sentiments of the devotees,” Suara Mahasuara Nijog secretary Krushna Chandra Samantara said.

Similarly, a fringe outfit – Shree Jagannath Sena – has also lambasted such move.

“The quality of abadha will be checked by a health officer? Does he have any idea about abadha? When an ailing person takes a drop of 30-year-old tanka torani, he gets relieved from the worldly things and dies peacefully. The staler the abadha gets, the healthier it is,” claimed Priyadarshan Patnaik, convenor of Shree Jagannath Sena.

On the contrary, a section of servitors have come out in support of the recommendation of the Commission.

“The raw materials used in the preparation of Prasad will be checked. The items used are of highest quality. We don’t have any objection or there is nothing wrong in it to check the quality,” said Binayak Das Mohapatra, senior Daitapati.

It may be mentioned here that Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in February this year had also written to the Health department to depute a food inspector in the temple for daily quality check of the Mahaprasad in the backdrop of complaints received from many devotees about substandard Mahaprasad sold by some servitors on the shrine premises.