Eclipse Row: Legal Notice To Rationalist Pratap Rath


Cuttack: The incident of serving chicken biryani during solar eclipse by a group of rationalists in Bhubaneswar has snowballed into a major controversy with the matter reaching court and police stations.

A high Court lawyer, Sandipan Mishra on Friday served a legal notice to one of the rationalists, Pratap Rath who was a part of the community feast, asking him to give a satisfactory reply in seven days failing which a case would be registered against them.

According to Mishra, Rath, a retired Psychology professor had allegedly insulted a particular caste with his derogatory remarks during a TV debate over solar eclipse and fasting.

On October 25, a group of people describing themselves as rationalists arranged a community feast in Bhubaneswar and served non-veg food to people protesting ‘pakatyaga’ as a superstition.

They argued that consuming food has no links to solar eclipse. Rather fasting during eclipse can weaken the body. They said that they were spreading awareness among people to consume food during solar or lunar eclipse.

The act of the rationalists didn’t godown well with several outfits which filed separate police complaints against them in Puri and Cuttack.

Puri Sankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati also denounced the arguments of the rationalists. Similarly, noted spiritual preacher Padma Shri Baba Balia also criticized them for going against the age-old belief and tradition.

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