VIDEO: Foreign Hindus discriminated against at Jagannath Puri Temple

This video is part of an interview with Jahnava Nitai Das in Orissa for an Indian television channel, which was simultaneously recorded by a devotee on a digital camera. It is concerned with the unjust and un-shastric ban on foreign Hindus enterning the Jagannath Puri Temple.

What the public doesn’t know is that these foreign Hindu converts may enter the temple for the Lord’s darshan after dark if a hefty ‘dakshina’ (read bribe) of Rs 1000+ is paid to the Pandas who run this lucrative temple enterprise.

The original ban on foreigners entering the Jagannath Puri Temple began a hundred years ago when Christian missionaries went into the temple and made an issue of some of the erotic sculpture on the temple walls. However justified that ban may have been, and however justified the ban on foreign tourists entering Hindu temples is today because of their inappropriate dress and motives, it is not justified to exclude practicing Hindus who can identify themselves from the temples because they are foreigners. Over the years this issue of discrimination has been brought to the attention of the courts and even the Puri Raja. But it is never resolved because of the stand taken by the Pandas themselves, who find it more lucrative to take bribes from foreign Hindus and allow them to have darshan late at night, rather than to allow them normal entry privilages.

Is money the god at Jagannath Puri, or Sri Krishna?

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