The historic Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra in Puri, Odisha was scheduled to take place on Tuesday (June 23) this year. Like every year, giant chariots of Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balaram and Goddess Subadhra were supposed to be taken out for a symbolic trip to their maternal aunt. After a week, they return to the Jagannath temple in Puri through a traditional ‘Ulto Rath Yatra’ or ‘return Rath Yatra’.
The event is widely popular across the country and attracts huge devotees in Puri during this time of the year. Keeping the interest of the public health and safety of the citizens, the Supreme Court had, however, said on June 18 (Thursday) that this year’s Rath Yatra cannot be allowed.
“We direct that there shall be no ‘rath yatra’ anywhere in the temple town of Odisha or in any other part of the State this year. We further direct that there shall be no activities secular or religious associated with the rath yatra during this period,” said the court order.
Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, who was leading the bench, said, “Lord Jagannath won’t forgive us if we allow the yatra”.
A day after this ruling, various applications were filed in the apex court seeking modification and recall of the order. The court led by a single-judge bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat is going to hear these applications on Monday (June 22, 2020).
While some sides have asked to permit at least the rituals, others like the Jagannath Sanskruti Jana Jagarana Manch, have appealed to the court to allow the Rath Yatra 2020.
On Sunday, the Shankaracharya of Puri, Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, had also alleged that it was a "well-orchestrated plan" to stall the Jagannath Rath Yatra.