Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: It's been several days now that the Puri district administration has been undertaking eviction of all structures including mutts and private properties within 75 meters from the boundary wall of Puri Srimandir, and gradually the voices of dissent also seem to be growing louder.

A day after Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati alleged conspiracy behind demolition of the mutts and other religious institutions in the pilgrim town, Tathagata Satpathy, a former MP of the ruling-BJD took to social media to vent out his anger over the 'destruction' in Puri.

The Ex-MP tweeted, "Demolitions around Puri Lord Jagannath Temple may not be 'illegal' but certainly uncouth & uncaring. 100s of years old Mutts and edifices, instead of being protected are now razed. I prefer Rome type preservation to a Benares style destruction."

Taking a jibe at the Odisha government, Satpathy further said, "Easy to destroy, very difficult to create. Puri Emaar Mutt was built in 1200 AD. Now ruined. Wonder why we Indians do not appreciate our past and blame all our faults on ancestors. I feel we are creating an uglier history now."

Satpathy also shared pictures showing how Emar Mutt and Grand Road in Puri looked in the early 1900s, mentioning "Preservation of heritage helps culture live for future generations to understand and relish."

Earlier, the Puri Shankaracharya had stated that the BP Das Commission had not taken any suggestions and feedback from the stakeholders in connection with the eviction. He also slammed the Supreme Court-appointed Amicus Curiae Ranjit Kumar for not taking any advice or suggestions from him before taking any decision or submitting the report to the apex court in this connection. Further questioning the interference of external forces in the management of Puri Srimandir, the Shankaracharya had said that all the management of the sacred shrine should be done as per religious laws and not in a secular manner.

Meanwhile, responding to Satpathy's comments, BJD vice president Prasanna Acharya said,"I don't know exactly how different people have different description about the cultural progression. But, if we can beautify the Puri Srimandir and its peripheries, we can turn it into a World Heritage Site."

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