Bhubaneswar: With the Nabakalebar Rath Yatra ending on a harmonious note, the beginning was surprisingly squally and embroiled in controversies. If one digs deep to find out the controversies’ favourite children, it might not be wrong to name Law minister Arun Sahoo and DGP Sanjeev Marik. Such was the vehemence of the controversies they stirred, grapevine was agog doubting their continuance in office.
During the Nabakalebar festival, Marik was seen touching the feet of two senior Daitapatis during his visit to the location of Lord Sudarshan’s ‘daru’ (holy wood) at Gadakhuntunia village near Balakati on the outskirt of the city. TV grabs too showed Marik, as a mark of respect, touched the feet of the servitors while he was in uniform and didn’t even remove his cap while taking the blessing of the priests.
This drew flak from all quarters. Soon chief minister Naveen Patnaik had to reprimand him and remind him “to respect the power and position he holds as a senior police officer and to be careful in future so that such things do not recur.”
Similarly, Sahoo had to tread his way through the choppy waters of controversy after the Brahma Paribartan ritual delay sparked off a huge furore. It was the first time that the ritual had to be conducted in the daytime instead of night. Such an anomaly was expected lash everyone involved and arguably Sahoo being the Law minister was at the forefront.
With such a backdrop, nothing could have come as a respite for Marik and Sahoo than a peaceful Rath Yatra. Fortunately, everything petered out well during the Rath Yatra barring a few isolated incidents. All the rituals leading up to the pulling of the chariots, the subsequent homecoming and ingression of the deities in the temple yesterday were conducted in time and without any noticeable discrepancies.
How far the controversies would affect Marik and Sahoo depends on a lot of factors. But, as of now, they might catch some easy breaths saying all’s well that ends well.