Case for Rato Machindranath Jatra

Case for Rato Machindranath Jatra

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Refute Brutality & Practice Humanity started this petition to Lalitpur Metropolitan City, and

The Rato Machindranath Jatra is one of the longest running festivals of Nepal. That being said, we are in no way confirming to the idea that the violent outburst from rioters yesterday was justified. The chaos and violence that erupted on account of the chariot procession could have been easily avoided with prior planning and discussion. 

 

Lalitpur's Rato Machindranath Jatra is still standing with uncertainty following numerous postponements due to COVID-19 pandemic since the month of Baisakh (April/May). Locals had proceeded with the construction of this 5-storey chariot (a 60 ft Herculean structure) after receiving green light from the Government, which thereafter, didn't receive much support as cases started escalating within the country. 

 

Now, we know that cultural identity is one of the strongest drivers of Nepalese society. Seeing their god abandoned in the middle of the road and mismanagement from the government's side fostered much resentment among the people which led them to take matters into their own hands. We all know how mob justice works: a person is smart, people are stupid. And the outcome resulted in yesterday's unfortunate events. 

 This isn't the only Jatra of the valley; and while other festivals which are as magnific as the one being discussed (if not more), including Seto Machindranath Jatra, Bisket Jatra, Indra Jatra etc that all got cancelled in the wake of this trying time, the question remains: Why should we allow the Rato Machindranath Jatra to go ahead?

If the 14-day long festival isn't concluded by Phulpati (mid- September) in Lalitpur, the deity will be claimed by Bhaktapur as per a millenia old contract between the two cities. In the more than 1600 year history of the festival, Machindranath has never been taken to Bhaktapur. Lalitpur will lose an important part of their cultural identity forever, and there will be no Rato Machindranath Jatra in the following years. 

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This petition has been created to show our solidarity as one. It's also an appeal to the Government to co ordinate with the local body and help conclude this festival as soon as possible. With it's help, the formalities of the Jatra can be over within 2-3 days, following systematic and the strictest guidelines. 

 

 

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