06 April 2020
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister has appealed for maintaining communal harmony, informed State's Chief Spokesperson on COVID-19 management Subroto Bagchi today.
"From Sri Chaitanya Dev to Guru Nanak, from Upagupta to Salabeg, Odisha has all through and in all times remained a pilgrimage for communal harmony," stated Bagchi quoting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
He pointed out that there is no place for communalism in Odisha and added that communal mindset is more dangerous than the virus.
To emphasize that Odisha has all through been a place for religious tolerance and communal harmony, Bagchi cited the story of Salabeg, a great devotee of Lord Jagannath though a Muslim by birth.
"Salabeg, a great devotee of Lord Jagannath, who had once visited Brundaban and the Lord's Rath Yatra had ensued, Salabeg prayed to the Lord to remain seated in His Chariot Nandighosa till he returned as he had 750 Kosas (A Kosa is an ancient Indian standard unit of distance about 3.00 km or 1.91 miles as per Wikipedia) to cover while his feet were unable to move. The Lord had stayed in His chariot till Salabeg reached Puri and had a darshan of the Lord on His chariot. Every year during Rath Yatra Lord Jagannath's chariot halts near Balagandi on the Grand Road near the samadhi of Salabeg to give darshan to his great devotee," he narrated to stress on Odisha's age-old tradition of communal harmony.