On 18th June the Supreme Court of India stayed the historic Rath Yatra at Puri’s Jagannath Temple in odisha which was scheduled to start from June 23. A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and Dinesh Maheshwari said that this year’s Rath Yatra at Puri can’t be allowed in the interest of health and safety of citizens.
The chief justice said, “Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow this year’s Rath Yatra.” Due to the sharp rise in coronavirus cases across the country, social gatherings cannot take place. This is the first time after 285 years that the Rath Yatra would not be held.
Responding to the judgement of the Supreme Court, the Odisha government said that it will obey the order by staying this year’s Rath Yatra and elsewhere. An emergency Cabinet meeting was called by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take a decision on the matter.
During the meeting, a resolution was passed. It stated that Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee has been asked to carry out rituals inside the 12-th century shrine in Puri, as per court’s order. The authority directed all the district magistrates to properly implement the court’s order.
“Lord Jagannath is the soul and identity of the Odia race. He is the guiding source of all the Odias. He has appeared in the form of Daru (wooden idol) for the welfare of the entire human race. He is the master and we all are temporary. Nothing happens in this world without his wishes,” the Cabinet said in its resolution.
“We have completely surrendered before him at a time when the entire world is fighting against the pandemic. Let Lord Jagannath save all of us from this crisis,” it added.
The Cabinet meeting was attended by the advocate general, the working chairperson and the chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, the development commissioner and law secretary.