Pradeep Pattanayak

Srimandir Chhatisa Nijog’s Nayak or the head of the servitors on Saturday requested the Odisha Chief Minister to take stringent action against the rationalists for hurting the sentiments of crores of Hindus by saying derogatory remarks against Lord Jagannath. 

Srimandir Chhatisa Nijog’s Nayak Pattajoshi Janardan Mohapatra shot off a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urging him to take action against the so-called rationalists. He also warned that there could be law and order situation if they are spared. 

The rationalists have hurt the faith and religious feelings of crores of Hindus by opposing the century-old traditions during the recently observed solar and lunar eclipses, read the letter. 

Their absurdity didn’t restrict to eating food during eclipses. They even crossed the limit by making slanderous statements against Lord Ram and his sibling Laxman, and saying rice and chicken curry can be offered to Lord Jagannath as prasad.

This resulted in violence in some places, Mohapatra said in the letter. 

The rationalists have the right to live with their beliefs but they don’t have the right to go against the faith and religious beliefs of crores of Hindus, said Mohapatra. 

Notably, during Solar Eclipse, a group of rationalists served chicken biryani at a community feast in Bhubaneswar to reaffirm their claim that abstaining from food consumption during an eclipse is nothing but ‘blind belief’. This had kicked off debates across the state. 

The pent of anger burst out on the lunar eclipse when ritualists launched an attack against the rationalists over them eating food during the eclipse in Bhubaneswar and Berhampur.