Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Feb 29:
Daitapatis who are still awaiting compensation for various rituals during Nabakalebara festival have threatened to abstain from performing the Rath Yatra rituals this year unless their demands are fulfilled.
The Daitapatis had been promised compensation for rituals which were denied like devotees climbing atop the chariots, Nabajaubana Darshan, Dhuja Pindika, Parimanika income, award for Nabakalabara completion, among others to the Daitapatis during Nabakalebara.
Although three ministers and eight IAS officers had been in charge for trouble-free Rath Yatra during Nabakalebara, but after the successful event all forgot the Daitapatis .
The Daitapatis since last January have conducted three secret meetings to discuss on the measures to recover their due from government and have now decided not to cooperate in the Rath Yatra rituals if their dues are not paid.
On January 17, when some members of the Daitapati Niyog had gone to the meet the law minister at his residence, they were made to wait for two hours following which one of them walked out of the minister’s house in protest. The minister had assured them that he will discuss the matter after February 15th.
But since no action was taken on February 15, they again had a secret meeting were it was decided that if they are not given their Nabakalebar dues than this year they will not participate in Rath Yatra rituals scheduled to be held on July 18.
While Daitapatis play an important role after the Maha Snan (bathing ritual of the Lords), government’s dilly dallying attitude is set to create friction among them.