JHARSUGUDA: That the Jagannath culture knows no religious boundaries is proved at Remanda village in Jharsuguda where Hindus and Muslims together celebrate the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.
Rath Yatra was celebrated in the village on Tuesday, three days after the chariot festival at Puri. The village does not have a Jagannath temple and the idols of the deities are borrowed from the temple in Sunari village nearby.
While people of both the communities organised the festivities that mark the annual sojourn of the Trinity, Md Jamiullah, who is the village ‘Gountia’ or zamindar, did the ‘Cherra Pahanra’ on the sole chariot that carried the deities to the Gundicha temple.
Jamiullah (70) said the village is proud of this tradition which is a symbol of national unity and integrity. In fact, the tradition of celebrating the Rath Yatra by Hindus and Muslims is 115 years old. It was started by Jamiullah’s great grandfather, Masud Ali, after he was appointed ‘Gountia’ by the British rulers. “My forefathers had started the Car Festival. I believe that there should be no difference between Hindus and Muslims in celebration of festivals,” he said.