Home ART & CULTURE Odisha Nabakalebara: ‘daru fixing’ back centrestage

Odisha Nabakalebara: ‘daru fixing’ back centrestage

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, June 28:

Suspended Daitapati servitor Jayakrushna Das Mohapatra today dropped a bombshell virtually confirming what had only been talked about in hushed tones so far: ‘daru fixing’, the new unholy term added to the lexicon of the holy Nabakalebara of the deities of Lord Jagannath temple in Odisha’s pilgrim town of Puri this time.

Jayakrushna Das Mohapatra
Jayakrushna Das Mohapatra

Even as his father Kashinath Das Mohapatra, also suspended, set the cat among the pigeons quoting from a hitherto unknown text called the Indranilamani pothi to justify the presence of persons other than the four badagrahis (body protectors) inside the anasara pindi at the time of the Brahma Parivartan, Jayakrushna trained his guns simultaneously at the Dalapati of the Banajaga Yatra team Haladhar Das Mohapatra and someone named Achyuta Samanta without specifying who exactly he was.

“Daru fixing means that the selection of darus was not done properly. Achyuta Samanta of that village – whom all of you know and you can find out who he is from that village – was doing everything from distributing water pouches to butter milk to the devotees through his NGO. He would have certainly given something to the Daitas who were close to him. You can verify it from the tehsil office whose plot is adjacent to that plot and all links. The Dalapati had the last word in the selection of all darus. If we opposed the Dalapati’s opinion even by one percent on any matter, then Suresh Babu (Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, chief administrator of Shri Jagannath Temple Administration) would say that the Dalapati’s words are final and you cannot say anything against that,” Jayakrushna Das Mohapatra told reporters today.

Trashing his comments, Banajaga Dalapati Haladhar Das Mohapatra said: “These are all lies. How can it be true? After being suspended, he is now rambling. It’s not that a single tree was scrutinized, several trees were scrutinized and then the selection made on the basis of the prophecy.”

Notably, the SJTA on June 24 had suspended two Daitapatis – the father-son duo of Kashinath Das Mohapatra and Jayakrushna Das Mohapatra – for the chaos inside the temple leading to an inordinate delay in the Brahma Parivartan ritual of the deities inside the Jagannath temple on June 15.

Further, the weird term ‘daru fixing’ gained rapid currency after three out of the four darus were found in a small area in Jagatsinghpur district.

No one, except the most gullible, was willing to buy the theory that it was just a ‘coincidence’; more so because the media had reported the precise locations where the darus of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra would be found at least a fortnight in advance.

Everyone thus knew about the location of the sites long before they were announced by the SJTA.

Interestingly, the temple administration had barred the media from speculating about the possible sites and had insisted that it would make the announcement after a formal communication from the Dalapati. But that did not stop the media from not just speculating, but actually predicting the location of the darus for the three siblings – Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra – with pinpoint accuracy.