Vikash Sharma

A day after Lord Balabhadra slipped on the ‘Charamala’ while being taken off His Taladhwaja chariot to the ‘Adapa Mandap’ of Gundicha temple in ‘Goti Pahandi’, questions have been raised as to what led to the mishap and who is to be blamed?

At least seven servitors were injured in the incident. Resentment is also brewing among devotees as a similar incident occurred last year involving Lord Jagannath during Adapa Pahandi.

Sambhunath Khuntia, a senior servitor said, “During pahandi, the dangerous part is on the charamala. If there is any deviation in the construction of charamala, it will act as a slope.”

Another senior servitor, Durgadas Mohapatra said, “Multiple reasons are responsible. The pahandi is conducted in a scientific manner and the deities cannot be controlled if there is any deviation. Whatever we have investigated so far, it appears that there were some problems in tying the rope around the 'tahia'. Be it daitapatis or other servitors, there were some new members. If we see the records of rights of pahandi, others were also assisting but it is the main responsibility of the daitapatis. It is the blessing of that Lord that the ‘Srianga’ of the deity is safe.”

What Led To The Mishap? Here Are Some Pertinent Questions That Have Cropped Up:

Who is responsible? Administration or Servitors?

Was there any lack of coordination in Niti (ritual) managing committee?

Was there less number of experienced servitors during the pahandi?

Did the officials of temple administration fail to ensure coordination?

Was the charamala of the Taladhwaja chariot tied properly?

Was the ‘Patadora’ of the Lord tied properly by the servitors?

Did the mishap occur as the servitors were not holding the ‘Patadora’ properly?

Why was a repetition of the similar mishap that occurred last year with Lord Jagannath?

Was the ‘Senapata’ used properly on Lord Balabhadra’s Srianga?

Has there been any damage to the Lord’s Srianga?

Did the problem cropped up as there were a lot of servitors on the charamala?

Will there be any stern action over the incident?

Odisha Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan said, “The way the rare Rath Yatra was conducted, the situation is normal and there is no need for any discussion. Whatever problem has cropped up, it is Lord’s Leela.”

According to Harichandan, a meeting of the managing committee is being held today and the state government is also contemplating some measures to conduct the festival in a smooth manner.

“I was at the temple yesterday and submitted a report to the Chief Minister and he is aware of the incident. There were no non-servitors on the chariot. But inside temple, there were; and there was some argument with the servitors, but the matter was resolved after SP and Collector’s intervention,” Harichandan added.

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