Puri, : The Srimandir administration has declined to offer any suggestions to the Union culture ministry on the design of the proposed Nabakalebara commemorative coin, which had earlier run into a controversy.
The Union culture ministry had recently written a letter to Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) seeking its suggestions on the design. SJTA refused to give suggestions saying the culture ministry had not sent it a sample of the proposed design.
According to sources, a decision to mint coins to commemorate the Nabakalebara festivities was taken by the ministry earlier. As per the plan, it was decided that coins of Rs 10 and Rs 1,000 denominations would be minted.
A seven-member committee formed to oversee and finalise the design aspects comprised noted writers JP Das, Haraprasad Das, Pratibha Ray, Tirupati University Vice-Chancellor Prof Harekrushna Satpathy, painter Dinanath Pathi, the Delhi-based resident commissioner of Orissa and the deputy secretary of the Union culture ministry.
The original design of the coins had an imprint of the idol of Lord Jagannath during the Sunabesha ritual. However, the design sparked a controversy as some experts said Sunabesha is not a regular ritual of Lord Jagannath and that the lord is not worshipped in this attire inside the sanctum sanctorum always.
While the basic objective to have an imprint of the Lord is to spread Jagannath culture across the world, there were apprehensions that the design chosen could create a different, one-sided impression among followers and devotees of Jagannath on the general look of the Lord’s idol.
Union economic affairs department secretary Shaktikanta Das had also raised his objections to the design with Sunabesha, which finally failed to get the Union culture ministry’s approval.
SJTA, in its reply to the ministry’s letter, said it cannot send any suggestions as the ministry has not sent it a sample of the new design. SJTA administrator (Niti), Pradip Kumar Das, said, “This is a time-taking process. We will be able to give our suggestions only after holding discussions with several outfits of servitors, researchers and pundits after the design reaches us”. PNN