Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 10:
Already under fire from several quarters for its inept handling of the Nabakaebara, the Odisha government had more flak coming its way today in the shape of a scathing attack by the Shankaracharya of Puri Govardhan Peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati.
Barely a week ahead of the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra, the Puri Shankaracharya held the Odisha government squarely responsible for the gross anarchy in the affairs of Jagannath temple administration.
In a press conference here today, the head of the Govardhan Mutt came down heavily on the state government for the Nabakalebara rituals mess and demanded a complete overhaul of the temple laws.
“Chaos prevails in the Jagannath temple and the rituals are not being followed properly. The government doesn’t have the right to interfere in the religious affairs fo the temple. There is a need to overhaul the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) laws,” the Shankaracharya said.
As per the judgements laid down by various courts pertaining to Puri temple, the state government should define its boundaries and the officials’ appointed by it to oversee the temple affairs should not cross their limits, he said.
In view of the ineffectiveness and directionless mismanagement of the temple administration, there should be a transparent approach in the appointment of the temple committee members and their roles and responsibilities should be well-defined, the fire-brand seer demanded.
The government should act as a facilitator and nothing more, he added.