Puri: The servitors of the Shree Jagannath Temple have threatened to quit in case of setback to their livelihood.
Expressing displeasure over the measures taken up by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in streamlining the measures suggested by the Supreme Court of India as part of the reforms for the 12th century shrine they have threatened to cease work.
The action came after the Supreme Court rap over allegations of harassment of devotees and other irregularities in management at the temple June 8, the temple administration has now begun to implement several reforms suggested by the apex court.
As part of the process, the temple management has stressed on abolition of direct donation collection from devotees, installation of CCTV cameras to keep tab on activities inside the temple. In the next phase it looks to streamline Mahaprasad service inside the Ananda Bazaar.
In the latest development, the temple administration has held a discussion with the Suar Mahasuar Nijog for handing over the Rosasala of the temple on lease.
On the other hand, the servitors are unhappy over the activities of the SJTA which has started to expedite the measures just after the conclusion of the annual Rath Yatra.
Servitors rue over the move citing undue interference of the temple administration in the centuries old traditions at the shrine. Blaming the administration, some servitors have warned to quit.
“If the administration interferes in all our ‘Daan, Dakshina’ and other allied issues, we will lose our livelihood. If the administration thinks that we will just sit and serve without any livelihood, it is wrong. We will simply hand over the keys to the Gajapati and quit our service,” said Suar Mahasuar Nijog President Damodar Mahasuar.
“If the Supreme Court’s judgements go against us after its final hearing September 5, we will quit the rituals,” said senior servitor Binayak Dasmohapatra.
“We don’t support the court or the administration’s decision regarding the matter,” said servitor Manoranjan Singhari.
SJTA will submit an affidavit by end of this month on steps taken after the apex court’s directives. The SC appointed amicus curiae will be visiting the temple this month to hold discussions on the matter with various stakeholders and the apex court will hear on the matter September 5.