Odisha: BJP’s ‘divine play’ logic under criticism from BJD and Congress

After the shocking slip of Lord Balabhadra on Taladhwaja’s slanting ladders during the ‘pahandi’ to Gundicha temple, deputy chief minister Pravati Parida and Law Minister Prithiviraj Harichandan attributed it to ‘Leela of Leelamaya’ (God’s divine play).
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.

BHUBANESWAR: The fall of Lord Balabhadra’s idol during the ‘Adapa Bije Pahandi’ snowballed into a war of words as the ruling BJP’s ‘God’s divine play’ logic came in for sharp criticism from the Opposition BJD and Congress on Wednesday.

After the shocking slip of Lord Balabhadra on Taladhwaja’s slanting ladders during the ‘pahandi’ to Gundicha temple, deputy chief minister Pravati Parida and Law Minister Prithiviraj Harichandan attributed it to ‘Leela of Leelamaya’ (God’s divine play).

Dismissing the incident as a minor accident, Parida said the servitors who suffered injuries during the rare slip were discharged from the hospital after first-aid. “Experts of Jagannath culture will be able to describe this ‘Leela’ of the Lord. None sustained serious injuries. They recovered quickly due to the blessings of the Lords and were back to conduct the rituals. It should be considered as the Lord’s will,” she said.

The response of the law minister was also on similar lines. Stating that no one can understand the ‘Leela of the Mahaprabhu’ (divine play of the Lord), Harichandan said it is better to move on after the incident. “There should not be any more debates and discussions. When I spoke to the servitors about the incident, they too described it as an act of the Lord,” he claimed.

All measures will be taken to ensure the smooth conduct of the rituals of the sibling deities. Steps are being taken to streamline Bahuda Yatra (return journey) to the Shree Jagannath temple, he said. The law minister further informed that he discussed the issue with Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi after the pahandi of Lord Jagannath. “The chief minister is aware of the situation,” he added.

However, the BJP ministers’ statements drew criticism. Stating that it was a shameful and unforgivable incident, BJD leader and Bhubaneswar mayor Sulochana Das said the incident has hurt the 4.5 crore Odias and devotees of Lord Jagannath across the globe.

Das said it is not proper to describe the incident as Lord’s divine play just to cover up the crowd mismanagement during Rath Yatra. “This is a very sensitive issue. Yesterday’s incident has hurt the sentiments of billions of people. It has shocked, embarrassed and troubled the minds of devotees,” she added.

Congress also came down heavily on the state government and demanded the formation of a judicial commission to inquire into the ‘rare’ mishap. Congress MLA from Jeypore Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the party will raise the issue in the Assembly.

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