PADT to take action for not playing national anthem before arati at Pashupati


The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) will take action against Bagmati Ganga Arati Family for not playing national anthem before the evening arati (worship using flame).
National anthem was played before the evening arati since August 30 after Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai issued instruction to that regard through the PADT.
The family, that has been performing evening arati for 10 years, stopped playing the national anthem from Monday following widespread criticism of doing so when people are cremated at the Pashupati Aryaghat across the Bagmati river.
“National anthem was being played following our instruction. They apparently stopped it on their own from yesterday,” Member Secretary of the PADT Pradeep Dhakal told Setopati. “I had called them for discussion but they didn’t come.”
He revealed that the PADT will now terminate the contract with the family. “The PADT itself will perform arati in the future.”
Evening arati is being performed in front of the Pashupatinath Temple across the Bagmati river since 2007.
The decision to play national anthem before arati has been widely condemned from the social media to the parliament where Nepali Congress lawmaker Bhimsen Das Pradhan called the decision anti-religion, culture and tradition.
“We all including the speaker stand up when the national anthem is played here in the House. Should the mourners at the time of cremation also stand up? Should they hold the flame to light the funeral pyre or stand up?” Pradhan had asked during the House of Representatives (HoR) meeting on Sunday.
Former PADT member secretary Govinda Tandon stated that playing national anthem at Aryaghat and cinema halls does not boost respect for the national anthem. “One should not play national anthem wherever one pleases. It has its own respect and dignity. This will promote rigid nationalism, not lively nationalism,” he opined.
He pointed that the place where evening arati is conducted at Pashupati is not appropriate for arati. “It would not have mattered if it were a proper place for just performing arati. But dead bodies are cremated just across the Bagmati. The bodies are burnt in funeral pyre even at the time of performing arati,” he stated.
“The dignity of national anthem cannot be maintained when the mourning family members are wailing. The wailing mourners will have to stand up wiping the tears if the national anthem is played. Those who are cremating the bodies will also have to stand up in silence. Those who are carrying the dead bodies will also have to stand still. There are many practical problems. We should not allow dignity of the national anthem be hit if it has been done to boost its respect.”

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