Jagannath Temple Administration Lacks Courage to Act against Servitors

Bhubaneswar: After Sunday night’s fiasco during the niladri bjie delaying the rituals till late night and the servitors of deities of Jagannath temple, Puri also misbehaving with the Collector & District Magistrate Arvind Agarwal has raised eyebrows among intellectuals and members of civil society in the State.

Climbing of the Lord Balabhadra’s chariot by a girl alleged to be a daughter of a servitor or misbehaving with the District magistrate or assaulting the media persons covering the rituals of the closing of Rath Yatra seems that rule of law has failed to prevail.

Utter chaos and unruly scenes were clearly visible by one and all present near the chariot and the minister, officers and policemen seemed to be onlookers of the entire incident.

Chief administrator of Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Mohapatra, whose responsibility is to maintain the smooth functioning of the event on Monday claims that all Sevayats have not broken the law.

Lack of respect for the courts or religious leaders or the Gajapati of Puri in the entire turn of events was evident from the episode which unfolded last night.

Arrest of a servitor or a few others later and then releasing them with a warning demonstrates a weak administration and also a lack of will of the ruling political class.

The incidents during navakalevara last year or not abiding the Court order does not make much of a difference as the servitors seem to be the rule of law.

Assault on the journalists by the servitors is deplorable and is condemned by all sections of media and society. It is expected that stringent action is taken against the perpetrators and exemplary punishment will send the right signal so that such incidents don’t recur again.

And an advice to the administration through what Chanakya once said “The disgrace of one’s people brings sorrow to the Nobel minded.”


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