‘Curly Tales’ Kamiya Jani, faces BJP flak on “beef-eating” claims After a recent visit to Jagannath temple at Puri, Odisha

21, Dec 2023 | CJP Team

For Kamiya Jani, who has been making a series of videos (available on her channel on You-Tube) on India’s “dhams” and “yotilingas”, it was a rude awakening when she awoke to the allegations being hurled at her by the Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). After a recent visit to Jagannath temple at Puri, Odisha, the BJP has stated that a “beef-eater” was allowed to mar the sanctity of the ancient temple.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJD – a close ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the centre—dismissed the allegations and even accused the BJP of spreading misinformation. Jani, in a statement, has clarified that she has never eaten beef.

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VK Pandian’s decision to host social media influencer Kamiya Jani, (she goes by the social media handle Curly Tales), at Puri Jagannath Temple is what has caused this controversy. Pandian is the blue-eyed boy of Odisha chief minister, Navin Patnaik.

Unsubstantiated by fact, the opposition BJP in the state has accused accusing the latter of being a “beef eater and promoter” and the “sanctity of the temple” being affected.

“The sacred sanctity of Puri Srimandir, rich with historical and spiritual heritage, has been shamefully disregarded by VK Pandian, the chairman of 5T, who callously allowed a beef promoter into the revered premises of Jagannath Mandir. Biju Janata Dal (BJD) remains indifferent to the sentiments of Odia and the sanctity of Jagannath Culture. Those responsible must face swift and severe consequences,” is what the Odisha unit of BJP wrote in a post on X.

The ruling BJD completely dismissed the allegations and accused the BJP of spreading lies. Jani, in a statement, clarified that she has never eaten beef. The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, in a clarification, said: “The allegation made by a certain political party regarding entry of a YouTube influencer into the shrine by taking a camera is completely baseless. There is no truth in it. If anyone has any evidence, if they present it, it will be probed and necessary action will be taken.”

In an Instagram story, the YouTube influencer, Kamiya Jani said: “As an Indian, my mission is to take Indian culture and heritage to the world. I have been visiting all the yotirlingas and char dhams of India. And what a privilege it’s been. Woke up to this strange article in the newspaper questioning my visit to Jagannath temple. Not that anyone has reached out me yet but just here to clarify that I don’t and have never eaten beef.”

Never known to concern itself with the truth however, BJP spokesperson Jatin Mohanty said a “beef eater” cannot enter the 12th Century Jagannath Temple as per the rules. He also raised objection over recording of a video of Pandian by Jani for her show as temple rules restrict camera entry. The BJP leader also alleged that both Pandian and Jani made a video on tasting ‘Mahaprasad’ of the Lords. The Odisha BJP General Secretary, Manas Mohanty even demanded the YouTuber’s arrest under section 295 of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of crores of Hindus

“There are videos of Jani eating beef in the past and she has also acknowledged it. By facilitating her entry into the shrine and recording a video inside the temple premises, the ruling BJD has not just hurt the sentiments of the people of Odisha but of the Hindus,” said Mohanty.

The ruling BJD also hit back at the BJP, with its spokesperson Ipsita Sahu saying, “No camera had been taken inside the temple as has been alleged by the BJP. The Mahaprasad was also served at the Radhaballav Math, which was clearly seen in the video.”

The BJD also shared previous incidents when Jani had visited other temples including the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya and questioned BJP’s silence on such visits. Further the BJD said that the BJP was “getting jealous” over development of Puri and Jagannath Temple. It alleged that BJP leaders had attempted to stall the Parikrama Project earlier too.

The Parikrama project or the heritage corridor is being built around the Puri Jagannath temple with an investment of Rs 800 crore and is set for inauguration on January 17. The government has created a 75-metre passage on the outer walls (Meghanada Pacheri) of the 12th-Century shrine to ensure security to the temple and provide basic civic amenities to the lakhs of devotees who visit the temple daily.


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