Priests and devotees perform 'Pahandi' rituals of Lord Jagannath during the Rath Yatra festival, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, in Puri, Odisha on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 | PTI
Text Size:

On 23 June, visuals of devotees swirling around Odisha’s famous Jagannath Puri temple flooded social media, causing one to momentarily forget that India is still in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic. A day earlier, the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land, gave permission for the annual Rath Yatra in Odisha to be held, but with certain restrictions.

In an earlier decision, the SC had barred the 10-day festival stating that “Lord Jagannath will forgive us” for the decision. But five days later, the SC bench led by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde clearly did not have faith in its earlier pragmatic stance of holding off on the religious congregation at a time when India’s Covid-19 cases are spiking.

The petition against the Rath Yatra taking place this year, filed by Odisha-based NGO Odisha Vikas Parishad (OVP), had cited the example of the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, which made the news for becoming Delhi’s Covid hotspot and adding to the spurt of cases in the country.

Interestingly, a servitor of the Jagannath Temple has already tested positive for coronavirus. From the looks of footage from Odisha’s Jagannath Rath Yatra, we are probably looking at ‘Tablighi Jamaat 2.0’. But clearly, the media and those who spewed hate against all Muslims oddly don’t care much about the health of those at the temple.


Also read: Jagannath Yatra ⁠— a 462-year-old tradition that nearly got cancelled this year


Tablighi Jamaat fiasco

On 30 March this year, at least 200 people from southeast Delhi’s Nizamuddin area were taken for Covid-19 testing after seven people in the area tested positive.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah predicted the impending backlash Muslims would face, and he was, proven right soon after.

The Tablighi Jamaat Markaz was soon called the biggest Covid hotspot, not just in India, but in South Asia. Accusations against the non-political global Sunni Islamic missionary organisation flew thick and fast, with abuses targeted directly at the Muslim community.

Muslims in India are a highly fragmented community, made up of various sects and sub-sects, and Tablighi Jamaat represented one small fraction. Yet, Muslims as a whole were vilified for their “irresponsibility” and “dangerous” actions for weeks to come. From being maligned by both Hindi and English news anchors on a daily basis, to propaganda and false rumours about Muslim vegetable vendors spitting on vegetables to intentionally spread Covid-19 — the coronavirus had suddenly become a ‘Muslim virus’.

The most vitriolic statements came from some of the BJP’s top-most spokespersons such as Amit Malviya and Sambit Patra.

It wasn’t much of a surprise that Tablighi Jamaat came under the scanner more because it is associated with Islam. In fact, it even managed to eclipse the fact that the day after the nationwide lockdown was announced, UP CM Yogi Adityanath violated the lockdown to attend a Ram Navami event in Ayodhya. But the Right-wing was quick to defend Adityanath’s actions.

https://twitter.com/Payal_Rohatgi/status/1245198292906053632?s=20

BJP support for Jagannath Yatra

The BJP-led Centre took the initiative to restore the festivities at Odisha. Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter to express his delight over the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse its earlier order, and allow for Odisha’s festivities to continue. Calling the decision about the Rath Yatra a matter of great “urgency”, he wrote that it was put urgently before a bench of the Supreme Court.

The same Supreme Court, which couldn’t do much for India’s migrant workers during the lockdown, showed utmost swiftness in this decision.

Ironically, guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on 30 May forbade such large gatherings.

But touting it as a victory for the people of Odisha, not an impending disaster during a pandemic, other top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, joined in with hearty congratulations.


Also read: Gujarat HC refuses to recall order barring Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad


What restrictions? God will save us all

One wonders what kind of ‘restrictions’ the Supreme Court imposed in its order, because one look at the celebrations was evidence enough that no social distancing or safety guidelines were followed.

People have gathered in large numbers for the start of the festivities, including BJP’s Sambit Patra. Yes, the same Sambit Patra who cried foul almost every day while the members of Delhi’s Tablighi Jamaat were being looked for, landed in Puri to seek blessings from Lord Jagannath. It is worthy to note that he is a doctor, but did not bother to follow any social-distancing norms.

Our outrage at the Tablighi Jamaat gathering has now been eclipsed by the total lack of criticism of the Rath Yatra at Puri and the threat it poses to India’s Covid cases. The BJP’s visible and vocal support for the Hindu festival in Odisha almost seems as political as its denouncement of the Tablighi Jamaat.

While the Nizamuddin gathering was by no means justified, it took place when the cases were still trickling — India currently has more than 4 lakh cases. If the Rath Yatra ends up being a hotspot, will the Supreme Court take responsibility for it?

No divine intervention can help it then.

Views are personal.


Also read: Public lockdown discipline fast eroding, India risks becoming lax in Covid fight


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

85 Comments Share Your Views

85 COMMENTS

  1. Tina das the writter of this article have you showed all the facts and truth.

    I am going to court for this article.
    Hiding fact is equally illogical and illegal.

    Lets see what happens.

    • Tina Das may have erred in not sharing Court advisory on ‘distance maintenance’ during Rath Yatra or even the right set of photos. (I don’t know but….)

      What Mr. Kili Jolsiyar commented on 26 June, 2020 at 2:33 pm is extremely valid.:
      1. Government officials were aware about the Jamaat meeting;
      2. visitors were allowed from Malaysia when Malaysia had already reported Covid infection.

      In other words, primary responsibility is with Government. So the real issue is because of ‘system failure’, did government allow media to make a bakra of TJ?

      Please note, I’m extremely upset by the behavior of TJ’s Maulvi and members behavior with health workers, etc.; but what else can one expect from our ‘scientifically illiterate’ brothers – Muslims; or Hindus? What can we expect when even school attendance is not compulsory? (Madrassas don’t follow CBSE syllabi)

      I applaud Ms. Das brave effort in bringing out this article and exposing the deeper sickness in our society. TY

  2. Without proper knowledge so called talented journo creating lots of unnecessary buzz. I condemn the print. Do journalim for Development not to divide. So that everyone not accepting the print. JAGANNATH WILL PUNISH YOU.

    • Mr Subhasis Ghosh: How this article can be classified as anti-India and anti-Hindu beats me. There are no such indications in the article.

      The dangers of carrying out this Jatra are high, despite all the precautions allegedly taken. Even to this day, not much is known about the virus except that it is highly contagious, can be lethal for many people who have other diseases that contribute to co-morbidity and is widespread in India. Additionally, the virus is mutating fast and there are no known cures or vaccines. The dis-infection measures and the screening of the people performing the pooja may give a degree of assurance. But even an idiot would tell you that the risk of contagion due to the presence of so many people at such close quarters actually goes up.

      Worse still, in a country where there are few hospital beds, fewer ventilators and overall abysmal healthcare infrastructure organising events of this sort is foolhardy to say the least. It might get the BJP votes, especially the votes of Hindutvadis and jingoists like yourself but increases the risks of the virus spreading. It is indeed mind-boggling to see BJP motormouth Sambit Patra – supposedly a trained doctor – flaunting all social-distancing norms and mingling with so many people.

      No wonder the Chinese are laughing at the Modi government – whilst grabbing Indian territory. After all, they know that Hindutva and displays of jingoism are what the government excels in – not looking after the health and interests of the citizens of India.

  3. Please don’t compare apples and oranges. Incorrect facts published. No devotees present.
    COVID 19 tests carried out on all the servitiors and priest. One found positive and was barred from taking part. What so ever, well co-ordinated effort by Puri district administration ,Temple administration, Gajapati Maharaja and Sankaracharya. Good show. Odisha will always remain as the best kept secret of India. Rest of India can’t understand that.

  4. Mr Welt: At the outset, why did the BJP government issue visas to the Jamaatis? Was the government asleep at the wheels when news of virus infections in Malaysia was already available in the public domain ? Government incompetence is equally to be blamed for this deadly disaster. And yes, the rank ignorance of the Jamaatis in going ahead with this spiritual rally in Delhi is to be strongly criticised, no questions asked.
    But when the lockdown was imposed suddenly with barely 4 hours notice and there was no proper communications from the Centre, a lot of people panicked. Essentially, those who could find a roof over their heads stayed indoors whilst those could not started walking home. Incendiary tweets from BJP bigwigs and the BJP IT cell, the vast anti-Muslim underbelly of the Hindutva crowd made many of the Jamaatis feel that they would get lynched. After all, the BJP has anyway transformed India into Lynchistan for Muslims hasn’t it ?

    But comparing the lapses of the Jamaatis in early March when little was known about the virus outside of government and health circles with the more cautious approach in June for the Hindu Rath Jatra when more was known about how the virus spreads and what precautions needed to be taken is not entirely fair. And the BJP government’s vilification of Indian Muslims as a whole for the mistakes of one denomination does not exactly promote religious amity does it Mr Welt?

    That religious events and congregations can turn out to be occasions when diseases, stampedes, environmental pollution and other tragic events occur is a well known fact. They occur at temples, mosques and even at other non-religious events, particularly in India. Crowd control, disease control, policing, toilet facilities, access to clean water are all poorly managed, if managed at all. And almost all religions have organised events where rules were bent, official injunctions disobeyed and people simply died.

    Absent a policy – with inputs from all religions – on how to handle large religious events such that health, safety and the environment are not endangered, these tragedies will happen again and again.

  5. Does the journo get paid by Pakistan or some other Islamic country or org to write such fake stories? The picture is clearly not from 2020 Rath Yatra. The real photos from 2020 are available from here. https://www.timesnownews.com/amp/india/article/with-masked-priests-minimum-public-attendance-this-is-how-the-jagannath-yatra-looked-like-amid-the-pandemic/611080

    There was Corona test done for all participants and only after ensuring negetive results were they allowed to participate. ThePrint is fake, anti Hindu hatemonger. Such biased media should be banned and the journos jailed.

  6. This I guess is a Hindu Festival. If there is no spike in CV19 after this festival, it is a win for Hinduism? Science can take a back seat. The other religions that have decided to ignore the Govt’s order for the opening of religious premises for prayer, will have been shown not to have faith in their Gods? We shall await with anxious breath this experiment with life or death?

  7. Since Tina Das is comparing the Tablighi Jamaat event and its aftermath with the Rath Yatra, can she do some research and tell us how many Rath Yatra devotees showed there nether parts to caregivers when they went for Covid testing? Don’t just compare superficially, tell us why India was angry with the Jamaatis.

    Wasn’t it because they invited thousands of Jamaatis from South East Asia and other parts of the world where the Chinese Communist Virus was killing people?
    Didn’t the main mullah of the Jamaatis tell his people that they need not worry, thy would be safe in the mosue, and cramped them in a facility despite being told he should ensure no lockdown norms are violated?

    Hasn’t he and his group hidden from medical teams who were sent to test them for the CCP virus? Why don’t you mention all that Tina Das? Does it hurt your sensibilities?

  8. First of all, RATH YATRA IS NOT ENTIRELY A HINDU EVENT. Do you know about SALABEGA? he was a MUSLIM. And because of him, RATHA YATRA was started because of his love and devotion. It was not a hindu who started it. This year too, a Muslim filed a petition to conduct Rath Yatra.

    So before barking and spreading hate, please do some research.

    Allah and Jagannath are the same. You have divided people based on your posts like this. I unsubscribe this page/site today itself.

  9. Several commenters here (Ms Vijayalakshmi, Ms Shalini Subudhi, Messrs. MK Kannan Unni, Rakshat, Tandav etc.) have come down heavily upon the Tablighi Jamaat whilst ignoring the many complicated facts – and fiction – that need to be taken into account when doing a more nuanced, sober analysis of the initial stages of this crisis. Admittedly, the Islamic Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) must shoulder a lot of the blame for the spread of the virus in India and elsewhere. But the million dollar question is: is the TJ and by extension Islam the sole cause of this sordid story? Reality is more complex than the simplistic canards that the BJP IT cell and key BJP spokespersons spread – often to hide their own incompetence. And one element of that incompetence was granting tourist visas to people coming from Malaysia thereby importing the disease.

    At the same time, now in June when more is known about the virus, how it spreads, how one protects oneself and so on, the behaviour of the Jamaatis in March – when little was known about the virus – is being held up for castigating them and Islam undeservedly. And the presumably safer and more sanitised Rath Jatra is being touted as an example of proper social distancing, sanitising and so on which Hindus have respected. Whilst one hopes that no new infections result from this jostling of people, the question that arises is:

    Do the risk of new infections and spread of the virus increase after the Jatra despite the precautions ? The answer must be YES.

    Indeed, a straw poll of my friends revealed that none would have risked attending the Jatra – disinfections and sanitising notwithstanding.

    In the same period as the TJ débâcle, Baldev Singh, a Sikh preacher who had returned from Italy and had tested positive for the virus refused to pay heed to GOI directives. He attended the Holla Mohalla Sikh festival for more than 6 days and was regarded as a super-spreader. Baldev Singh died of COVID. However, the BJP dared not link Sikhism to the ir-responsible behaviour of this Sikh preacher. Indeed, contact tracing resulted in 20 villages being sealed off (ref: bbc.in/3eCCNiv) and 40,000 people being quarantined.

    Not a single commenter here has mentioned Baldev Singh’s role in spreading the virus. And the BJP, aware of the fact that the 36 th anniversary of the storming of the Golden Temple was approaching and scared of rousing the many restive Khalistan sympathisers, kept mum about the incident. And many Sikhs are anyway wary of Hindutva and their position in the Hindu Pakistan that Hindutva wants to create.

    BOTTOMLINE: By framing this serious pandemic using religion, the BJP is not only alienating the already beleaguered Muslim citizens of India it is also increasing and legitimising Hindu hatred and animosity towards Muslims in India. As the many comments here show. That may be the Gujarat Model of governance, but the non-stop process of nation building that is needed in a fractious place like India is being reversed.

    Sad, but true.

    • Now,
      This is *_Double $tandard_* on the part of the *_Central and State Government_* for turning a *_Blind eye_* on this religious gathering and the *_Criminal Silence_* on the part of the *_Godi News Channels_*…that , too , when *_India_* is registering *_10,000 and above Covid 19 positive cases_* for the *_past 7 to 8 days._*

      *_”Baba Ramdev’s Coronil” isn’t going to Save them_*

      *_Do you Agree?_*

      • You are right Mr Yasser.

        But you do make an error Sir. You assume that Baba Ramdev’s Coronil is being made to save people. Alas, that is totally wrong. Charlatan Baba Ramdev’s products are only made to fill his own coffers with money. And that is fine with the BJP government since the man is a big donor to the BJP. After all, the BJP government has not banned the product has it ?

  10. Please get your facts straight first before writing in any forum!! The servitor who tested positive was detected before the gathering unlike other cases where people didnt even stay at quarantine centres after doing gathering and tested positive. Have you seen the picture of rath yatra before?? People used to gather in millions and this time it was just 500 with no public participation. People were well aware of the situation. Odisha govt is in support of this because this is odia people’s emotion. No one did anything which was not known to police or govt. unlike other cases. The situations were different then and situations are diff now. So please dnt try to agitate a hindu muslim war again amidst all these issues!

  11. Congress’s Achievement: Looting for 60 years.
    BeeJayPee’s Biggest Achievement: Looting double that sum of money within a matter of six years.

    Congress = We have just one family that loots.
    BeeJayPee = We are one large family of looters.

    ** O Gullible People of India, judge for yourself which kind of looter you would prefer, or perhaps you could do very well without a ‘Government’. Gone are those days when a POLITICIAN could be trusted. Perhaps in future it would be better to live without the presence of a Government !

  12. You biased morons sharing wrong image to indicate ur biased point of view … hardly 100 people attended the rath yathra and ur article shows all 100 in one angle… you only want decide and rule

  13. The writer conveniently misses the point that all the devotees involved in this event were tested the day before the event was held which was not the case of the Jamaat event. BHAI THODA PADH-LIKH LIYA KAR, FIR JOURNALISM KARNA.

  14. Vague order by apex court. They should have appointed a high court judge to oversee the Rath yatra. They should have maintained a register for the participants /volunteers and insist adhar card details for contact tracing in the case of active cases in future. .

  15. Kindly do your homework properly before putting down this full fledged article. Correct your facts and first learn about every tit and bit regarding Rath yatra; the precautions, the restrictions, etc taken during the festival. And the best part is, execution was better than expectation. Such an useless and biased information. Never saw this coming from “The Print”.

  16. Now, I am not in favour of endangering lives at the cost of religious beliefs and traditions. But a quick fact check before you vilify an age-old ritual: first, there were no devotees allowed to attend the Rath Yatra 2020 by the order of honourable supreme court. It was completely carried out by the servitors and security personnel around while Puri was under total shutdown. Second, Pahandi Bije is a ritual carried out only by servitors as far back as the temple tradition goes. Do proper research before coming up with absurd theories to justify your hate against a particular community. Then you are no different than those who do the same to other communities.

    • So was the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi conducted with evil intentions ? What about Italy returned Sikh super-spreader Baldev Singh’s preaching in Hola Mohalla which lead to 20 villages getting quarantined? Aditthayanath’s temple visits?

      Religion and the refusal to believe in science often go hand in hand. But religion infused with politics and a refusal to believe in science is a BJP /Hindutva trademark.

  17. Congress’s Achievement: Looting for 60 years.
    BeeJayPee’s Biggest Achievement: Looting double that sum of money within a matter of six years.

    Congress = We have just one family that loots.
    BeeJayPee = We are one large family of looters.
    ***** O Gullible People of India, judge for yourself which kind of looter you would prefer, or perhaps you could do very well without a ‘Government’. Gone are those days when a POLITICIAN could be trusted. Perhaps in future it would be better to live without the presence of a Government ! *****

  18. There is no comparison between 2 events. Rathyatra was carried out after covid test done for all servitors. No public participation. And it is done when Govt. has given clearance for hotel, resturant ,train travel and everything is opened up. It was done under strict curfew.
    The article is written with a biased agenda and prejudiced view being propaganda.

  19. # This is not the first time, the SC, took a relook of its earlier order, during the corona times! Vide:– the order regarding free COVID TEST, then modified ; the order regarding occupying middle seats in AIR INDIA FLIGHTS ; also regarding the MIGRANTS ISSUE ; and now the Puri Jagannath Yatra ! All the GODS in this WORLD, ought to have United, and killed CORONA/COVID19 !

  20. Why just blame the govt. Where is the brains of normal people. Nobody is pushing them to go for rath yatra. I am not exonerating the govt but questioning the public also whether hindu or muslim or sikh or Christian. Our safety is in our hands first. It’s sad how we immediately point fingers.

    • Plz learn there was no public participation for this event. And for all the servitors who participated covid test was done.

  21. Ever since the Tabligihi fiasco, the left media houses and left-leaning journalist haven’t wasted an opportunity to single out and corner Hindus. I am neither a supporter of BJP nor leaning towards Right-wing. I am a common citizen without any affinity to any political ideology. I do not support existing dispensation cumbersome economic policies. Bjp govt although projects itself as the messiah of National Security but it failed to sanction funds for 9 important defence projects. If national security is the central issue, then central to national security is economic prosperity which this govt. is failing. Even there are some gaps in our foreign trade policy of this govt. The existing govt. projects itself as the protector of Hindus and Hinduism, but in the last six years, it hasn’t taken any steps to free Hindu temples from govt. clutches. When we understand these many things, can’t we understand the non-sense of some left-leaning journalists, media houses and the so-called intellectuals?

  22. You should take a look at the recovery rate of that time and of now. And secondly I don’t think that these people are going to spit on doctors like as those of jamatis did.. rather I hope that if they are found covid positive then they are going to accept it and are going to respect the doctors who are going to treat them( cause Allah is not going to save them).

    • There is no spitting happened by Tablighi jamat people it’s a fake propaganda led by bjp fraud IT cell and the godi media.. there are now many fact check online sites which confirmed it one of them is altnews

  23. What the writer forgets, is the Tabkighi Jamaat congregation, when lockdown was imposed in delhi. Whereas jagannath yatra is coming in when there is unlocking coming in systematically. Most important ODISHA govt has not imposed any lockdown. So no law is being flouted. The writers comments are misplaced.

    • Hello there was no lockdown or restrictions in Delhi during TJ event. It’s open secret the govt kept locked until Eid and it was only matter of time when govt used unlock 1.0 .

    • Odisha Government do a strict shutdown in puri only and all the severitors have tested and no buses, trains, cars are allowed in puri from 22 june 2020 to 24 june 2020 due to rath yatra of Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannath Ji.

  24. What is the criteria to write for the Print? I think class 5 should be enough. Unbelievable shallow article without any research and knowledge.

  25. Congress’s Achievement: Looting for 60 years.
    BeeJayPee’s Biggest Achievement: Looting double that sum of money within a matter of six years.

    Congress = We have just one family that loots.
    BJP = We are one large family of looters.

    O Gullible People of India, judge for yourself which kind of looter you would prefer, or perhaps you could do very well without a ‘Government’. Gone are those days when a POLITICIAN could be trusted. Perhaps in future it would be better to live without the presence of a Government !

  26. @vijayalakshmi Agree. Both contexts are not comparable. During the Rath Yatra, all participants were tested for covid before the Yatra and found to be covid negative. Also no visitor was allowed in the vicinity as the entire area has been barricaded. Local people were not allowed to view the Rath Yatra even from their balconies! The people who participated were temple sebayats( who work in the temple) and police personnel. How are these two events comparable?

    • Don’t you think it was bjp’s responsibility then to get outsiders checked when they were entering india. It was the peak time and china had already started its lockdown and what the govt was doing simply asking them to fill up the form. Even when those markaz people asked for help during lockdown they were given nothing just backlashes, they moved from their places because they needed food and place to survive and you are like no no no we are fine because we are being properly checked for our yatra.
      Everything is totally biased and its simply a propaganda from this govt just to keep getting attention moreover it was a stunt played by them so that they can hide their ‘irresponsibility’ since people would be busy questioning muslims rather than the government.

  27. Blasphemy to even compare the Pabitra Ratha Yatra with Tabhligi whatever. The author should remove her own biases and prejudices while writing an article. You may have a poltical agenda, but the festival is more cultural than religious and the AUTHOR IS COMPLETE C*NT, for not mentioning that caution and restrictions were in place, servitors were Covid tested and that no devotees were allowed. Stupid noob of an author.

    • typical BeeJayPee Bootlicker’s comment….always using foul language against women no matter what…..and this is what they call the glorious “Hindustani Culture”

      • He does not need to mince any words for pseudo -liberals and Islamists like her or like you. Moreover, calling a spade a spade is Hindiustani culture. And you’re a c*nt too. Hindu bashing is not the answer to terrorism.

  28. Did you do some research before pulishing the article? Had you done, you would have known that all those who were involved in Rath Yatra were tested for COVID – 19 the previous day! But I do agree, this festival shouldn’t have happened.

  29. Ever since the Tablighi fiasco, the leftist media houses and journalists haven’t wasted any opportunity to corner Hindus. We are neither supporters of BJP nor leaning towards any Right-wing ideology. We are just common Indian citizen who is not aligned with any ideology but, definitely, we are politically aware citizens. We don’t support the mindless economic policies of the present dispensation. Not just economic policy, the present govt projects itself as it is the only messiah of national security but at the same time not investing enough in defence projects (9 prime projects are pending). We do understand central to the national security is economic prosperity which is terrible under the current regime. When we understand these many things, don’t we understand the non-sense of people like you?

  30. Its so not right to not put in the regulations which the supreme court had asked the temple authorities to follow and were followed I ams disapointed with PRINT Please don’t divide my country.

    • You need to read the comments of Amit Malviya, Sambit patra, Payal Rohatgi and many other BJP People to know who is diving India

      • Apt reminder by you, Mr Mohammed Riyaz. One may include the names of Amit Shah (for his current comment on Shaheen bagh protestors), and Anurag Thakur and Kapil Mishra ( for their infamous and indecent sloganeering) in the provided by you.

        • “list” needs to be inserted in between “the” and “provided” in the last but one line in the above comment of mine. I am very sorry for this omission.

  31. It happened WITHOUT devotees!
    It happened ONLY WITH the servitors of the Temple!
    Every member was TESTED for CORONA Virus!
    Continuous DISINFECTION was done!
    EVERYONE FOLLOWED SC’s verdict and guidelines!
    There was NO uproar when it was canceled!
    TABLIGHIs had people from various COUNTRIES on TOURIST VISA and violated the RULES!
    TABLIGHIs were HIDING!
    TABLIGHIs HARASSED the Healthcare PERSONEL!
    TABLIGHIs DIDN’T abide by the GUIDELINES!

    • Tandav: So who gave visas to the Tablighis to come in when it was known that they were carriers ? The Foreign Ministry under Modi perhaps ?

  32. Religion is an opium for the masses. And if the religion is your own religion make that opium, cociane and and some macho viagra.

  33. How many Tabligi were hiding, spitting all over, staying all over in India illegally? How many of them were flashing in front of ladies? How many of them were putting on masks?

    Comparing them with Jagannath yatra is anti-national, to say the least.

  34. I spoke to some folks back home after I read this article. From what I hear, the following was done prior to the yatra.
    1. Covid testing.
    2. 500 people in all.

    From the picture looks to me people are wearing masks. The posted picture can be a very misleading. Newsmedia ought to be a bit more careful. You are giving the impression that there were more than the allowed number of people and supreme court restrictions were violated.

    This is slightly different from Tablighi, in the sense that, Tablighi seemed to run away from law and order and did not permit contact tracing. That does not mean they should have been subject to the subsequent “Muslim Virus” nonsense. However, we have to keep them in view. Tablighi congregated despite restrictions and without permission if I recall.

    So it was ok in your opinion for Tablighi, but not rath yatra? Mostly because the cases of COVID19 was tricking in? The problem is, we would never have been here some would say but for Tablighi. I do not believe that to be true, However, your arguments are as bad or worse than the folks your are trying to write about.

  35. Do you understand the difference between Tablighi Jamaat and festival happening in Rath Yatra only in Puri? I don’t think so you have any clear understanding about it. The Rath Yatra is only happening in Puri considering the Law and norms shared by the Supreme Court. Before this festival was conducted 48hrs curfew happened in Puri. Firstly the people who are present are either Pandas or Government officials who are been tested and then allowed. Secondly the image which you are posted is incorrect and spreading wrong image and information. Before writing anything please check your facts and then publish anything.

  36. From today onwards I will not read stupid news from the print, don’t compare Rath Yatra with stupid Tablighi,all the sevayats are are taste for corona and contact trace was done for the positive person he is not in contact with the temple so don’t make foolish comparisons, it’s totally offend to the odisha people by stupid secular and atheist Bengalis

    • Idiot. You cannot even differentiate between an opinion and news. Articles are opinions from the author. Keep that in mind before u comment ur next stupid boycott print comment.

  37. Sad that we bring Supreme Court into everything. These religious gatherings are really not required. BJP and its leadership are insane. This is just not on.

  38. kya kisi aur ko dosh deke kya maut ko taala ja sakta hai. Agar kisiko marne ka shauk hai mate. All ke andhon aur bewakufon ko nahin samjhana chaiye .

  39. How can you compare a jammat whose gathering was of proselytizers versus that people celebrating faith with no agenda. What a foolish and illogical view

  40. The Supine Court of India has been run over by the Juggernaut of savarna supremacy – not just in this instance but numerous times before. Maybe they should replace the justices with priests from important temples around the country and be done with the pretence once and for all.

      • Are you an idiot? the jagganath festival has a history of the ratha not moving and waiting for a musical, don’t spread hatred

    • Well said Mr Sagar ! The need of the hour is a theorcracy lead by Modi – to hell with democracy !

      And in any case, most Hindus prefer that Modi reigns some a dictator and that too permanently, so no big deal.

  41. Before I say anything else, I am completely against blaming the “Jamaatis” for the spread. True that congregation was the source of a large amount of the initial spread of the virus in India. But I don’t think there was significant negligence on their part. Could they have been more careful and may be approached the authorities sooner? Absolutely. Could the government at Delhi and Centre have done a better job to have prevented that situation? Absolutely. Should the congregants be blamed or held responsible? I don’t think so. Should their religious sect or religion as a whole be blamed? Absolutely not.

    At the same time, I completely disagree with the author here, because of a few factors.

    1. Situation in the state of Odisha is not particularly bad, and the situation in Puri is not even the worst in that state. Thus, it was definitely possible to organise the ceremonies with adequate precaution to significantly reduce the risk and quickly control any further spread. On the day of the Rath Yatra, the district had seen only 215 confirmed cases, of which 62 were active cases.

    2. Significant risk reduction measures have continued to be taken for the Rath Yatra over the last few months and were also taken for the day of the event. FYI, the day of the Rath Yatra is just the culmination of months of preparation involving thousands of people, right from the ceremonial cutting of trees, the months it takes to carve the wood, create the chariot with hundreds of carpenters, weavers, painters, servitors involved in the process. Most of these people have had to stay in long periods of quarantine over the last few months so that they may do their religious duties. Even on the day a few thousand participants were tested, and only 1 was found positive. From other local news reports, thousands more are likely to be tested post facto as well, not based on symptoms or contact but just because they were part of the ceremonies. This will include servitors, other participants, policemen etc. Not to mention the city was completely off limits on the day of the event, from the previous night. And for a ceremony which attracts a million visitors from all over the country, there were just a few thousand local devotees. All this information is only from some minimal understanding of the precautions that I have read about. I would hope that a responsible media outlet would actually put in some effort to discover and present facts, rather than just having a rant which this article feels like.

    In my view these were quite significant precautions, and I hope the state government will continue actively monitoring all participants, to make sure no significant spread happens if any at all.

    3. The morale uplifting value of the Rath Yatra in the state of Odisha is immense. Not having even a token minimal event would have really not done anything good for the people of the state. The overall risk vs reward of what has happened is very very much on the positive side. On the other hand, in this long struggle to eradicate the virus, and even longer struggle to economically recover, the complete scrapping of the festival would have had significant negative impact.

    Coming back to the whole point about “hypocrisy” of people in attacking the “Tablighi Jamaat” event and not doing so to the Rath Yatra, that is simply a ridiculous idea in my view. Attacking and blaming the “Tablighi Jamaat”, the people associated with it and the religion as a whole was wrong. And along similar lines, criticising the organisation of the Rath Yatra while presenting scant and incomplete evidence for that, let alone any actual consequences, is equally wrong.

    Let us please not suggest that mistakes made in the past means that we should continue to make other similar mistakes. Let us have a goal higher than one of being an “equal opportunity offender”, and rather have the goal of not committing an offence at all.

  42. Tablighi problem was not only due to the meeting proper, but also the participants clandestinely staying in cramped spaces for long time alongside some foreigners and moving in different parts of the country. In Puri, all the servitors were tested, one positive isolated. They will again be tested after a couple of days. The public was not allowed to come. Hopefully the situation will not go out of control.

  43. False Equivalence.

    1) Rath Yatra got government and SC permission, following the rules. Tablighi markaz went against all government norms.
    2) Rath Yatra servitors were following quarantine norms for one month prior to the event. No such thing in Tablighi.
    3) Rath Yatra servitors were tested before, during and after participation in the event. Again, no such thing in Tablighi.
    4) Rath Yatra servitors didn’t hide in unfindable locations. Tablighis hid themselves in various locations.
    5) Full coopeartion from Hindu side. Total non-cooperation from Muslim side.
    6) No foreigners coming in using tourist visa for Rath Yatra. Tablighis from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia all came misusing tourist visa and doing religious propaganda work.
    7) Above all, Hindu saints DID NOT announce that corona for Krishna’s punishment to Muslims. Tablighi chief announced that corona was Allah’s punishment to Hindus.

    So liberals, stop fooling Hindus. Both are NOT the same, however much you wish it to be.

  44. There is a difference with the Tablighi Jamaat super spreading event and other events, which the author does not seems to understand (or pretends not to understand). As of 18 April, 29.8% of the total 14,378 confirmed cases were linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, across 23 states and Union Territories. This is empirical data. If such empirical data of any other gathering can prove a similar super spreading event, both can be compared. In the absence of such evidence, it is not proper to point fingers at any other event and hope to absolve Tablighi Jamaat using a sort “broken window” model. Tablighi Jamaat is complicit not just India, but also in Malaysia, Pakistan and other countries.

    • During the Tablighi Jamaat incident, many other social and religious congregation happened but none was tested. No data of any other congregation is available with governments which shows thier hate for Muslims.
      Tablighi jamat incident happened in the initial phase of covid-19 but they were called terrorists though they were given permission by the government for the congregation.
      Jagannath yatra happens when covid-19 is in its worst phase but they are still nationalist.
      Only Satan will believe that there isn’t any bias and injustice but what else can we expect from a morally dead society.

  45. I agree that this sort of crowd is undesirable. But there are two things to note which you have not mentioned in the article:
    1. Cat is out of the bag : At the peak of lock down where cooperation was expected, the tablighi happened. This is happening in post Corona world where we have to learn to live with it.
    2. No Indian is/was cheering the crowd or violated social distancing norm. The expectation was that it will follow law of the land and instruction of Supreme court. Folks did not do that as per the above pic. Hold the Organizer, and law and order official assigned to oversee this as per the contempt. What you are saying is that people are now praising the violation of law, that is not the case at all.

    Please do not twist and stay focused on reporting right facts.

    • You are a typical evasive Hindu liar. ‘What you are saying is that people are now praising the violation of law, that is not the case at all.’

      The article cites Sambit Patra who vilified Tablihgis and is now taking part in this Orissa rath yatra.

      The article is about Hindu duplicity. People like Sambit Patra – and you.

    • 1. Tabligi event didn’t happen at the peak but initial phase of the covid, precisely it happened around the day when Health Ministry issued a Statement saying Covid is not a Health Emergency……….
      2. It was a blessing in disguise for Muslims as more Muslims were tested then another community, that’s why now when the pandamic is peaking, proportion of Muslim victims has fallen and hatemongers are tasting the bitter pill…….

    • Please correct ur facts. Tabhligi happened between 1-21 March while lockdown was announced on 24 March. This is not a justification for the congregation. I maintain that it was irresponsible. As irresponsible as the Puri Jagannath Yatra, which deserves the same amount of criticism

  46. The people of our country discriminate on the basis of caste ,color , religion .The Supreme Court which is supposed to uphold the constitution of our county is sadly populated by the same individuals whose prejudices it is supposed to protect us against,.Now who will save us , in the light of the developments , you cannot say God , then the question will arise , Which one ?

  47. Barbaad gulistan karne ko bas ek hi ullu kaafi tha,
    Har shaakh pe ullu baitha hai,
    Anjaam e gulistan, yeh hoga….

    With apologies to Allama Iqbal

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here