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Upananda Brahmachari | HENB | New Delhi | June 22, 2020:: Jai Jagannath! Finally, Supreme Court of India agrees to allow Puri Rath Yatra this year under pressure of devotees with a strict restrictions for no public attendance.
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed holding of the historic Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra at Puri, which starts tomorrow, with certain conditions including that there would be no public attendance.
Modifying its June 18 order in which it had said that this year’s Yatra cannot be allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the apex court permitted holding of the Yatra after taking note of Odisha government’s stand that it “can be held in a limited way without public attendance”.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde directed the state government to impose curfew in the Puri city during the time when the chariots are taken out in the procession – an event in which lakhs of people from the world over participate every year.
The bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and A S Bopanna, said that each Rath or chariot would to be pulled by no more than 500 people and all of them have to be tested for Corona Virus.
It also directed that those engaged in pulling chariot shall maintain social distancing before, during and after the Rath Yatra.
“Indeed, if it is possible to ensure that there is no public attendance, we see no reason why the Rath Yatra cannot be conducted safely along its usual route from temple to temple,” the bench said in its order.
While hearing a PIL filed by NGO ‘Odisha Vikash Parishad’ the apex court on June 18 had said that in the interest of public health and safety of citizens, this year’s Puri Rath Yatra cannot be allowed and that “Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow” it.
A day after the order was passed, some applications were filed in the top court seeking recall and modification of its order.
These applications, including those filed by ‘Jagannath Sanskruti Jana Jagarana Manch’ and senior BJP leader from Odisha, Sambit Patra, urged the court to allow the Rath Yatra with certain restrictions due to the pandemic.
The bench was informed by the Centre that Rath Yatra can be conducted without compromising on citizen’s health and with co-operation of state and the temple trust.
Now, it’s a big win for the motto of Supreme Court itself as. “यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः” – Yato Dharmastato Jaya, i.e. Where there is adherence to right action, there lies victory!
The selective secular NGO headed by many urban naxals, Odisha Vikash Parishad tried to halt Puri Ratha Yatra, 2020 by filing PIL in the apex court, but they approached to stop mass Namaj of Ramadan or Eid-ul-Fitr during pandemic situation, anyway.
On that plea, Supreme Court of India passed the impugned order to stop the Rath Yatra 2020, without considering the gravity of fractured Hindu sentiments due to stoppage of a thousands years old and essential tradition of Hindus.
Most unwisely the designated bench headed by CJI tried to put hindrance before the Journey of Lord Jagannath in very childish manner.
But, they are now convinced well the meaning of Yato Dharmastato Jaya! The law abiding and most Dharmic (virtuous) people, all devotees of Jagannath made a huge unity to run the wheels of the chariot of Lord Jagannath, now and for ever. Nobody can stop the Chariot of Lord Jagannath, henceforth. Jai Jagannath!!
UPDATE ON JUNE 23, 2020::
Full Doordarshan Live telecast (7 hrs 30 mins 47 secs) Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath 2020.
__Inputs from PTI & Door Darshan National.