Ratha Jatra can’t be celebrated on separate dates worldwide: Soumya Ranjan

Bhubaneswar: A big concern was expressed in Odisha Assembly over celebrating world famous Ratha Jatra of Lord Jagannath in some places on the date not fixed as per Hindu almanac.

The issue was raised by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Soumya Ranjan Patnaik during zero hour in the House today demanding the state government’s interference on conducting Ratha Jatra rituals on different dates in Punjab.

Drawing the attention of the House, the Khandapada MLA said that Ratha Jatra was observed on December 23, 2018 in Ludhiana of Punjab, which was opposed by Puri Gajapati King. Subsequently, the organiser had assured to hold the festival on the predetermined date as per Hindu almanac this year. However, the event was not held on the scheduled date in Punjab, rather another date was fixed for Ratha Jatra in the state. The organiser is planning to conduct the festival in Ludhiana on Nov 16 this year.

“We all know that the auspicious occasion falls on second day of sukla pakshya in month of Asadha (between mid June and July) as per Hindu calendar every year. The holy festival is also celebrated on the same day worldwide. However, the organisation like ISKCON is misleading Jagannath culture by conducting the rituals of Ratha Jatra on separate dates in state like Punjab,” Patnaik told reporters.

“Puri Gajapati had opposed it by writing to the particular organisation, which is promoting Jagannath culture across the globe, and urged to celebrate the festival on the same day. However, ISKCON is organising Ratha Jatra on other dates as per its convenience hurting the sentiments of millions of Jagannath devotees,” he said.

The first-time MLA and former MP demanded the state government to raise the issue with Punjab counterpart against holding the world famous Ratha Jatra on other dates.

During zero hour, Patnaik also opposed the presentation style of state anthem ‘Bande Utkal Janani’.

“The state anthem should be sung within a fixed time frame and a particular tune without making any change in the format,” he said.

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