Proposal on entry of non-Hindus into Puri Srimandir: Who said what

Bhubaneswar/Puri: The Supreme Court suggestion to allow non-Hindus into Puri Srimandir has evoked sharp reactions from all quarters. While temple servitors are in favour of maintaining the status quo, political leaders have also jumped in with their twopence worth.

Odisha Revenue Minister, Maheswar Mohanty

If non-Hindus are allowed into Puri Srimandir then there will be no point in Rath Yatra as the Lord comes out during the annual festival to give darshan to non-Hindus who can’t go inside the Srimandir.

Odisha Law Minister, Pratap Jena

Odisha govt is keen on reforms in Puri Srimandir management. However, the issue of entry of non-Hindus inside the temple is limited to discussions now.

Union Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan

SC has given its suggestion on several important issues and reforms should be implemented in Puri Srimandir in phases. Cooperation among Puri Shankaracharya, religious outfits and other stakeholders is needed. I hope that the Odisha government will find a solution soon.

Senior BJD Leader, Damodar Rout

Lord Jagannath is a symbol of secularity. Non-Hindus have been barred entry into Puri Srimandir since past 4000 years. It’s not possible for me to say to break that tradition. I can neither support nor oppose entry of non-Hindus to the temple.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad President, Badrinath Patnaik

We oppose the SC’s proposal. We will urge the State government not to do way with the age-old tradition and if the government fails to do so, we will file a review petition in the apex court for reconsideration.

Moreover, former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda, responding to a tweet on a 2007-incident of Indonesians thrown out of Srimandir, tweeted “Sad. Ancient Indonesians & Odias (Kalingans) were cousins w/common heritage incl identical Bali/Cuttack handicrafts. After Puri, the 2nd Jagannath temple anywhr was (& is!) at Bali. Irrespective of larger debate on entry to non Hindus, why shd Hindus be denied the Lord’s worship? (sic).”