Odisha: Devotees cannot climb on chariots during Ratha Yatra, Bahuda Yatra, Suna Besha at Puri - Law Minister
Report by Pravuprasad Routray, Bhubaneswar: Devotees cannot climb on chariots during Ratha Yatra, Bahuda Yatra and Suna Besha. As it's a sensitive matter further consultations are going on. This was informed by the Law minister Arun Sahoo.
The minister also informed that the decision shall hold firm not just on Rath Yatra day, but also on Bahuda Yatra (return car festival) and Suna Besha (golden attire). However, the minister refused to come up with a concrete diktat on the issue of touching the devotees. “It is a highly sensitive issue and needs wider consultation with all stake holders”, he said.
Daitapati Niyog leader Ramakrushna Mohapatra spoke to scribes after the meeting and expressed his approval of the government’s proposal. “We have accepted the state government’s proposal of not allowing the devotees to climb chariots on three days- rath Yatra day, Bahuda and Suna Vesha from the security point of view. But, the practice of devotees mounting to chariots after they reach destination will continue’, he said.
Mohapatra said they accepted the state government proposal in view of the suspected terrorist threat on the Lord’s festival.
It should be noted that on May 12, 2014 the Jagannath Temple managing committee asked the Odisha government to stop the practice of devotees climbing atop chariots and touching the Lord.
Puri King Gajapati King Divyasingha Deb, who headed the committee, said this while presiding over a meeting of religious heads who supported Puri Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati's view of climbing atop chariots and touching the Lord as 'sin'.
Hindu pundits from different 'matts' and sects also supported the Puri seer and opined that climbing the chariots was against Hindu religion as well as scriptures.
The issue was discussed in detail as 'Daitapati' priests, who play significant role during the Rath Yatra, opposed Shankaracharya's view.