I read yet another shocking news and could not resist commenting on it. Here is an dialogue account of what might have taken place.
Paul Roediger (PR) is the American tourist amazed by the Indian culture and Hindu religion. He has traveled far and wide and read lots of books and articles about India. He visits Puri and is greeted by Ramachandra Panda (Priest) is a priest at Jaganath Temple.
PR: I see this majestic temple, and thousands of devotees. What is this place?
Priest: It is the temple of Lord Jaganath, the King of the Creation. Subjects from all over the world come to pay their respects to their mighty Lord. The Lord blesses them and cleanses their soul.
PR: Did you say the Lord of the Entire World? I also have a grievance, can I also worship here?
PR: Please, I promise i won’t take more than 15 seconds of my lords time.
Priest: No, you cannot meet him… you need to be a Hindu.
PR: So if I am a Hindu and an Indian, I can meet him?
Priest: Yes, But provided you are not a Shudhra.
(confused why someone would want to be a Shurdhra on the first place)
PR: How do I become a respectable Hindu?
Priest: You can never become one… you need to be born a hindu to be one.
(Seriously disappointed, and not knowing what to do. This devotee PR is turning back)
Priest: Hey wait! I can make a special provision for you.
PR: What sort of provision? (thinks for a while) Will 500/- do?
Priest: (smiles) You are the most generous and noble man I have ever seen.
Gist of the story….
I seriously believe that in a Modern egalitarian India, there is no place for temples like this. Temples like Jaganath breed religious hatred and casteism. and keep the Indian mentality primitive. SC/ST/OBC and females are still barred from visiting many of the holy sites.
You cannot cleanse these temples by throwing 300,000/- worth of prasad (food), but by DEMOLISHING Jaganath temples and putting all the priests and authorities behind bars. What use is this grandeur if there is no humanity and brotherhood?