Home STATE Former top Odisha bureaucrat demands replacement of SJTA chief

Former top Odisha bureaucrat demands replacement of SJTA chief


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 22:

Retired top bureaucrat of the Odisha cadre and former Editor of Odia daily ‘Sanchar’ Prasanna Mishra has demanded that a new chief administrator be appointed immediately for the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and the acts of omission and commission of the present incumbent leading to the gross mismanagement of the Brahma Parivartan ritual of the Lords be probed.

prasanna mishra

In an open letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Mishra has said the ongoing inquiry by the chief administrator lacks credibility because he himself is under a cloud for his role in the whole affair.

Here is the full text of the open letter written by Mishra on Sunday:

Respected Chief Minister:

Last evening, I listened to Gajapati Maharaja’s interview on NabaKalebara telecast on Kanak TV. The anguish in his voice and the feeling of helplessness it conveyed over the mismanagement in the most sacred of the Lords’ rituals—Brahma transfer—overwhelmed me. I wonder if your preoccupations with the affairs of state at that hour of the day would have enabled you to listen to his talk. But I am sure thousands did and felt as hurt as I was.

I would like to submit with the sense of responsibility of an Indian citizen that a person who hurts the religious sentiments of another by his action commits an offence under the Indian law. The innumerable, widely publicised acts of omission and commission from the Banajaga Jatra till Ghata Paribartan have caused immense pain to millions of devotees and hurt their religious sentiments. The people who caused it should have been taken care of by the law of the land. That you and the Minister Law have preferred to maintain silence does not seem to have helped the situation. A worthwhile government intervention would have ensured that the law took its course, swiftly and decisively.

The Temple Administration is reportedly conducting an enquiry. This initiative, unfortunately, suffers credibility deficit. The Chief Administrator, who is conducting the probe, has been witnessing the reported mismanagement. In all fairness, his actions and inactions also need to be probed.

I would request for your immediate intervention to ensure that (i) a new capable person is posted as Chief Administrator immediately; (ii) an immediate enquiry be conducted to identify the persons whose actions and inactions have caused the mismanagement and hurt the religious sentiments of millions of devotees and (iii) action as per the law of the land be taken most expeditiously.

With kind regards

Prasanna Mishra