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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Puri: The ISKCON has once again dragged itself into another controversy by announcing to hold another untimely Rath Yatra despite widespread resentment against the authorities and repeated warnings by Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) against doing so.

As per reports, a poster inviting devotees for the alleged untimely Rath Yatra under the pseudo name of Hare Krishna Festival on 18 March 2020 was spotted in Mathura, which went viral in the social media. The poster displayed a chariot to be used in the festival which looked exactly the same as Nandighosha, the chariot of Lord Jagannath wears with all its grandeur on the day of Puri Rath Yatra.

However, the servitors in the pilgrim city have condemned the advertisement as an attempt to demean the Jagannath culture. Senior Daitapati, Binayak Das Mohapatra said, “Managing committee of Srimandir has been calling meetings for at least two or three occasions to put a ban on such untimely conduct of Rath Yatra. But unfortunately, the outcomes of the meetings have been disappointing because the rules are seldom implemented.”

“Nobody including Gajapati Maharaj of Puri nor the Shankaracharya has shown any real effort to curb this attempt of hurting the sentiments of Hindus,” said Mohapatra.

Mohapatra further alleged that, “There were some servitors in the temple who worked as agents of ISKCON for the lure of money. We had dealt with them in the past and request all the people to please desist from such attempts.”

Notably, ISKCON’s untimely Rath Yatra conducted in Mumbai on January 30, 2019 triggered resentment among Srimandir servitors, religious scholars and Jagannath devotees.

They have demanded that the car festival of Lord Jagannath should be organised across the world only during the Hindu month of Asadha as per Skanda Purana and other religious scriptures.

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