Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Central Secretary General Sri Milind Parande has said that the traditional annual Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival) of Bhagwan Shree Jagannath at Puri, which has been conducted uninterruptedly in a row for the last hundreds of years, should be taken out this year too!
The Rath Yatra can be made possible at the holy Bada Danda (Grand Avenue) even with all the public health protocols against the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in place. A way out must be found to ensure the annual continuity of the Yatra. In today’s circumstances, it is hardly expected that a million devotees would gather in the Yatra. He also requested the Hon’ble Supreme Court to review its decision.
The VHP Secretary General said that it is the responsibility of the Government of Odisha to take proper steps to ensure the nonstop conduct of this ancient tradition – the pride and identity of Odisha and Bharat – while surely protecting public health, even during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
The State Government has completely failed in fulfilling its duty in this respect. In fact, the Government of Odisha could not properly place and articulate all the facts, figures and aspects in this matter before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Bharat.
Sri Parande also said that the Hon’ble Supreme Court should have heard all the concerned parties and stakeholders before delivering a verdict in this matter. At least, the Shankaracharya of Puri Gobardhan Peethadhishwar Ven. Swami Nischalananda Saraswati Ji Maharaj, the trustees of the temple and the Yatra management committee should have been heard.
The chariot of the Bhagwan can also be symbolically drawn by means of elephants, mechanical assistance or required number of well-tested, COVID-19-negative, healthy and capable Sevayats (temple servitors).
(Press release provided by Shri Vinod Bansal, National Spokesperson, VHP)
(Features image source: Patrika)
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