A recent visit by travel influencer and social media personality, Kamiya Jani, to the revered Jagannath Temple in Puri has sparked a heated debate between political factions, stirring controversy and allegations.
The Video and Allegations
A widely circulated video of Kamiya Jani engaging in conversation with BJD leader VK Pandian within the sacred premises of the ancient Jagannath Temple has garnered the attention of the opposition as well. This encounter triggered sharp criticism from the BJP, which accused Jani of using cameras and other equipment within the temple surroundings which hinders the religious sanctity of the place.
An old video of Kamiya endorsing beef consumption has surfaced on the internet causing a stir. An act strictly prohibited within the temple and the Hindu community has raised concerns about her beliefs and her access facilitated by a BJD leader.
BJP’s Call for Action
Responding swiftly, the Odisha BJP demanded the immediate arrest of Jani and Pandian under IPC Section 295A for allegedly causing hurt to religious sentiments. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan echoed this sentiment, stressing the importance of avoiding actions that could offend the temple’s devout followers.
How far is it right for beef-eater #KamiyaJani to get access to Shree Jagannath Temple, #Puri.— Anil Biswal (@BiswalAnil) December 22, 2023
Kamiya Jani admits she takes beef.
VK Pandian invites her to go Jagannatha Temple, also invites to take Mahaprasad.
BJD should not do politics. They should give answer in yes or no. pic.twitter.com/jaAkb8l08Y
Defensive Stand and Counterclaims
In defence, BJD MP Manas Mangaraj dismissed the allegations, highlighting Jani’s previous measures in promoting Hindu heritage and temples. He accused the BJP of intolerance and spreading falsehoods, pointing out inconsistencies in their reactions based on their own past visits to the Jagannath Temple.
Demand for Clarification
Amidst the uproar, Kamiya Jani issued a forceful clarification on her social media platform, vehemently denying any involvement in promoting beef consumption. She emphasised her dedication to showcasing Indian culture globally and expressed deep respect for visiting revered sites such as the Jagannath Temple.
Continued Dispute and Political Ramifications
The clash between the BJP and BJD over Jani’s temple visit continues to intensify, escalating the controversy. The divergent viewpoints expressed by political figures have further fueled the debate, making it challenging to find common ground amidst the polarised opinions.
The unfolding controversy surrounding Kamiya Jani’s visit to the Jagannath Temple exposes the clash between political ideologies, raising fundamental questions about respecting religious sensitivities, ensuring access to cultural sites, and defining the responsibilities of influencers in preserving time-honoured traditions.
This incident serves as a reminder of the delicate balance required between modern media outreach and the preservation of sacred customs, prompting a deeper conversation on navigating the evolving landscape of social influence while maintaining utmost reverence for religious sentiments.