ONI Bureau: While browsing through Facebook this morning, I noticed a couple of posts that have taken strong exceptions to Dr. Achyuta Samanta being crowned as the King of KISS Jagannath Temple, saying it has hurt the sentiments of millions of Jagannath fans and showed disrespect to Puri Gajapati… Really?
I tried my best, but failed to understand the outrage unless it’s being deliberately done or has some malicious intent to malign Dr. Samanta, who is hailed as the saviour of tribals at a time when both government and administration failed to step in to change their lives.
Did Dr. Samanta claimed to be the Gajapati? Did he stake claims to Puri Jagannath Temple? We have hundreds of thousands of Jagannath Temples across the world and those have nominated Kings who follow the rituals and customs without fail. Nobody then raised objections saying only Puri Gajapati can do the ‘chhera pahnara’. Can we bar this tradition?
Dr. Achyuta Samanta is doing everything possible for around 30,000 tribal students of KISS. They are happy and content with his efforts. It is believed that Tribals have first right over Lord Jagannath. To respect that tradition, he set up a Jagannath Temple and following all the customs and rituals. And, those 30,000 students got a chance to keep themselves acquainted with the Jagannath culture.
On the other hand, we speak of Lord Jagannath and his dignity. But, when rituals and customs are being broken more often and devotees are harassed, we choose to keep mum. We have already failed during the ‘Brahma Paribartan’ fiasco.
For the tribal kids and their parents, Dr. Achyuta Samanta is the King. And, nobody should have any objections if they accept him as the ‘Messenger of God’. It’s not related to Puri & Gajapati. It’s about KISS Jagannath Temple where Dr. Samanta is the nominated King like all other Jagannath Temples which have their own. There is no exception. Hope good sense prevail and people focus on real issues that would bring change to the society!
If they want to challenge Dr. Samanta, they can do so in their work and action. Let’s see how they bring changes to the lives of Tribals or oppressed class of the society. They will become a “King” or “Saviour” someday if they prove their mettle.