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Odisha Rath Yatra row: SJSSM demands action against those ‘responsible’


Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, July 6:

Representatives of several mutts and temples in Odisha, who congregrated here under the banner of Shree Jagannath Sanskruti Surakhya Mancha (SJSSM) today demanded that the people responsible for insulting the Jagadguru Shankaracharya of the Puri Gobardhan Peeth must be identified and punished and the Odisha government should nullify the decision of the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to impose restrictions on the Shankaracharya’s chariot visits during the Rath Yatra.

Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra
Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra

Condemning the state government’s role in causing humiliation to the Puri seer the representatives of mutts and temples who met at at the Satyananda Yoga Ashram here and decided on a seven-point charter of demands.

Convenor of SJSSM Dr Prafulla Kumar Rath said the millennium old tradition of Rath Yatra festival was broken due to an irresponsible act of the administration and that has deeply hurt the sentiments of people besides insulting the revered Hindu seer.

Rath said the state government and the temple administration are in awe of the Daitapatis who have humiliated the seer and have conspired against both the spiritual guru and Gajapati Maharaj for recommending a ban on devotees climbing atop chariots.

Rath further said government has no right to dictate terms to the seer or interfere with religious matters or practices of the temple.

SJSSM has now raised a 7-point charter of demands before state government.SJSSM meeting

The charter calls for a roll back of the decision taken by SJTA on Shankaracharya’s right to carry his disciple atop the chariots, stringent action against persons involved in the conspiracy against the seer, ensuring the seer along with his seven disciples performs the rituals as per the traditions without any restrictions from next Rath Yatra onward, enhancing the security of the seer and in and around the Gobardhan Peeth in Puri, abstention from any interference in rituals of the temple, immediate steps to appoint two members- one from Mukti Mandap pundit council and another representative of the mutts in the temple administration and arrest or stringent action against the “five daitapatis” who conspired against the seer, used abusive words, maligned him as well as the Puri Gajapati Maharaj resulting in an unfortunate break in the age old tradition.