Posted: Post Date – 09:40 AM, Wed – Nov 9th 22
Bhubaneswar: Clashes between rationalists and ritualists erupted in Bhubaneswar and Berhampur after the former organised an Indian biryani banquet during Tuesday’s lunar eclipse.
Earlier, rationalists had organized a similar Indian biryani feast during a solar eclipse. Several Hindu leaders, including Puri Shankaracharya, strongly opposed it.
Rationalists have challenged ritualists, publicly declaring that they will have a similar feast at Tuesday’s lunar eclipse.
The first incident was reported from Berhampur, where rationalists organized a community feast to send a message to society that, according to scientific belief, anyone can eat anything during a solar or lunar eclipse.
They said the feast was held to educate people about scientific thinking and prevent them from espousing superstitions.
Tensions erupted when a group of ceremony personnel arrived at the scene to protest the move. Police took a lathi charge as the situation turned ugly.
A similar situation happened here at Loya College, because of food consumption during a lunar eclipse. When the rationalists organized the feast, members of the Bajrang Dal arrived to object to the consumption of cooked food during a lunar eclipse, an ancient belief in the Hindu tradition.
“We believe in science. We don’t believe in superstition. They come here to attack us because they can’t prove anything with science,” said rationalist Bhalachandra Sarangi.
Another rationalist said if they had anything to prove, ritualists should come forward and have a healthy debate.
Kameswar Tripathy, president of the Association of All Temple Attendants in Odisha, said: “They go against our tradition by holding Biryani during a lunar eclipse. We strongly oppose the rationalists’ Such a move.”