At least four FIRs were filed in separate police stations in Puri and Cuttack by some religious outfits against the ‘rationalists’.
Seers and religious heads in Odisha on Thursday took umbrage at the recent incident of serving chicken biryani at a community feast here during a solar eclipse, by a group of people describing themselves as rationalists to bust "blind beliefs." At least four FIRs were filed in separate police stations in Puri and Cuttack by some religious outfits against the ‘rationalists’.
“They are ignorant. Their actions go against the basic tenets of Sanatan Dharma. The very food (chicken biryani) consumed by those people during the eclipse might be the bane of their lives,” said Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saswati.
He said people who devise new theories, violating the basic principles, “do harm to their own lives and the society at large”. “Norms and traditions are made based on the philosophy, science and social behaviour of Indians. These suggest what should be consumed at what time,” the seer said. Noted Odia saint and Padma Shri Baba Balia also denounced the act of the ‘rationalists’, who “publicly challenged the tradition of fasting during the solar eclipse” on Tuesday.
“No one can stop anyone from taking food. But, misleading society is not a healthy culture. The practice of remaining empty stomach during a solar or lunar eclipse is based on science,” he said. The group of ‘rationalists’, however, appeared unperturbed over the criticism, asserting that they would do the same during the upcoming lunar eclipse on November 8.
“I stand by what I believe. Anything which is not scientific should not be practised. I have eaten during eclipse since childhood and will continue to do so,” said Pratap Rath, a retired professor of Psychology in Utkal University. “I have not violated any law or acted against the Constitution,” Rath, 66, said.
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