Govt Fails to Act Now after Rewarding the Puri Servitors during Previous Year’s Rath Yatra

Bhubaneswar: After the recent unruly behaviour of the servitors during the Niladri Bije return of the three deities from the chariot into the Jagannath temple the government seems reluctant to act against the erring persons.

It becomes more evident after media reports suggest that the state government has been on the back foot and avoids a confrontation with the Jagannath temple servitors. Payment of Rs 2 crores as compensation to the servitors for the loss incurred by them due to the ban on devotees climbing the chariots during the annual Rath Yatra in 2015 is a glaring example that the government wants to keep the servitors in “good humour”.

Now the pertinent question arises why do the servitors need to be kept in “good humour”?

It raises suspicion even in the minds of the common man. Does the government benefit in some manner from the servitors by keeping them in “good humour” or there is some kind of benefit which the temple administration or politicians draw from the servitors.

Misbehaving with the district collector of Puri or the media persons present there on the night of the incident has been condemned by all sections of the society, yet the state government preferred to keep mum over the incident.

Strict or stringent action against the servitors is expected to discipline the system. Appointing a Judicial commission and putting the commission report in the cold storage has been the normal practice to pacify both sides in the recent times.

Even during the Nabakalebara fiasco one of the two suspended servitor belonged to a political party and just before this year’s Rath Yatra their suspension was revoked. Was this decision taken to keep them in “good humour”? Raises doubts in the minds of the people.

Unless the government acts now it would suggest that neither the government is protective of its officers nor does it care for the media.

If the government acts now the servitors may try and obstruct daily rituals. But they should not forget that it would also draw the wrath of common man.

Now the ball lies in the court of the State government. To act or not?

Editorial

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