With the need for social distancing becoming more grave with each passing day, Puri's Rath Yatra commenced today, and was attended by hundreds of priests and sevayats of the Jagannath Temple.
The permission for the Rath Yatra was given by the Supreme Court on June 22, after denying it earlier on June 18.
The Court in its judgment had said that it cannot 'micro-manage' the rituals, leaving them to the state government of Odisha, the Centre and temple authorities.
Reacting to the decision, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the nation is very happy with the news.
आज का दिन हम सबके लिए, विशेषकर ओडिशा के हमारे भाइयों-बहनों और भगवान जगन्नाथ के भक्तों के लिए एक शुभ दिन है। रथयात्रा को सुप्रीम कोर्ट की मंजूरी मिलने से पूरे देश में उत्साह और आनंद का माहौल है।— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) June 22, 2020
He also thanked PM Narendra Modi for making this possibe.
यह मेरे साथ-साथ देशभर के करोड़ों श्रद्धालुओं के लिए हर्ष की बात है कि प्रधानमंत्री @narendramodi जी ने न केवल श्रद्धालुओं की भावनाओं को समझा, बल्कि इस मामले का सकारात्मक हल निकले, इसके लिए तुरंत प्रयास शुरू किए, जिससे हमारी यह महान परंपरा कायम रही।— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) June 22, 2020
The temple was sanitised before the rituals began and all the attendees were allowed to be a part of the rituals only after testing negative for coronavirus.
However, the Supreme Court's order of following social distancing norms didn't seem to be followed at all.
Around 500 people were seen celebrating together, making the whole situation worrisome. Because, among other things, there is no saying that someone couldn't have picked up coronavirus after being tested.
This 'Rathyatra' drama continues at Puri in the name of majority Hindu sentiments - Supreme Court has abdicated its responsibility and political leadership keeps doing politics with people's lives. One of the servitors has been already tested as #COVID19 positive.. pic.twitter.com/jQi55CUhX9— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) June 23, 2020
Rath Yatra being carried out with utmost precaution and social distancing in place.— ElShabazz (@ElShabazzz) June 23, 2020
Everyone is wearing a transparent Hazmat Suit which we cannot see. pic.twitter.com/E1r0278gJ2
#WATCH Odisha: The King of Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb sweeps the chariots with a broom having a gold handle, as part of the ‘Chhera Pahanra’ ritual, during the #RathYatra at Puri's Jagannath Temple. pic.twitter.com/THZ10CenOg— ANI (@ANI) June 23, 2020
Odisha: The King of Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb arrives at the Jagannath Temple in Puri to participate in the Rath Yatra. He will perform the ‘Chhera Pahanra’ ritual where he will sweep the chariots with a broom having a gold handle. pic.twitter.com/rm4cDTzB7d— ANI (@ANI) June 23, 2020
Odisha: Idol of Lord Balabhadra being brought to chariot by priests and 'sevayats' for the Rath Yatra from Jagannath Temple in Puri. pic.twitter.com/EmUbazA63F— ANI (@ANI) June 23, 2020
This is dangerous. Unless proper norms of social distancing were followed, this is a sure method to community spread.— shalini malviya (@shalumalviya) June 23, 2020