on Nov. 28, 2007
The Puri Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingh Deb is concerned that three Hindu pilgrims from Bali in Indonesia, were humiliated at the hands of a few Jagannath Temple priests, who on Wednesday drove the trio off the shrine suspecting them as non-Hindus, whose entry is prohibited in the temple. The King has also asked the Jagannath Temple administration to look into the matter.
“This is really unfortunate that the Hindu devotees from Indonesia faced humiliation and difficulties at Jagannath Temple here. The temple administration including myself is deeply hurt and concerned. This should not have happened with Hindu devotees,” the Puri Maharaja said.
The King also admitted that identifying the religion of a particular person at the temple has been a contentious debate since long past. “It is really tough to confirm one’s religion by looking at his or her complexion. So, unfortunately incidents of this type do occur very often."
However, the shrine administration has been asked to look into it and its officials are already on the job of devising a measure to bring an end to the identity crisis of religion, said Dibyasingh Deb, also the Chairman of Jagannath Temple Managing Committee. Earlier, the police had shrugged off the responsibility of confirming someone’s religion at the temple, saying they are entrusted with the task of providing security to the temple.
“Hindus coming from outside Orissa to Jagannath Temple should not face any difficulties. All Hindus should feel comfortable and have a pleasant experience here at Puri temple. We all are trying hard to ensure that horrible incidents of that type do not repeat in future,” the Gajapati Maharaja said.
Meanwhile, he said that most of the people at Bali in Indonesian are Hindus and great lovers of Lord Jagannath. “A number of Hindu temples exist there. Last year I visited many places in Indonesia, including Bali. There is also cultural similarity found there like Orissa,” Dibyasingh Deb said.