Demolition of mutts in Puri: Dissent real or farce ?


Puri: The current demolition drive in temple town of Puri to raze structures around the 12th century shrine has evoked sharp reactions from various quarters.

While the state government passed a resolution in the assembly in this regard for bulldozing structures in the reach of 75 meter from the shrine, the seers of the mutts are protesting against it.

Historians and Jagannath culture researchers are vehemently opposing the decision reasoning that the centuries old iconic structures standing testimony to the rich Odia culture would be buried in debris for eternity.

Is the dissent too little and too late ? Why are they raising voices so late ?

The decision might have been taken in view of threat to the religious structure, many opine that the mutts had been using their property for earning commercial benefits.

Dharmashala (lodging facility for tourists), shoe stands, shops and other business establishments had come up in almost all these mutts, enveloping the identity of the mutts.

The issue is snowballing into a major controversy. In 1955, Naga sadhus had a violent clash with the security personnel during Ratha Jatra (Rath Yatra) owing which the sadhus’ participation in the annual festival was banned.

Now, congregation of huge number of Naga sadhus in the holy town poses a potential threat to the peace and tranquility of the pilgrim town.

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