Vrindavan, 2018.01.04 (VT) DGC Civil Badri Prasad Singh has lodged a Citizen’s request to have the Banke Bihari Temple’s darshan timings extended. The case was due to be heard yesterday, however the court was closed due to mourning, so the case was rescheduled for today.
CCTV footage and the temple’s service register from December 24, 2017 to 02 January 2018 are being used as evidence of the need to extend darshan timings.
The proposal to extend darshan timings is opposed by most of the Bihariji Goswamis. Local groups such as the Dharma Raksha Sangh have also raised their voices against the move, which is seen as disrespectful to the tradition established by Swami Haridas.
Gopesh Goswami is firmly against the interference in temple management. Other Goswamis are ready to compromise, but say that the darshan timings could be extended by two hours per day, instead of the proposed four hours. Rajat Goswami supports the idea of extending darshan hours and says that he feels bad when the crowd situation gets bad for women and children. Everyone agrees that there something needs to be done about crowd control in the temple, however, there is little evidence that extending darshan timings will help to control the crowds.
Speaking to Vrindavan Today on condition of anonymity, a prominent Goswami of the Banke Bihari temple said, “Can you ask your own young son to stand and greet people for twelve hours a day? Of course people want Bihariji to spend more time with them. But there are many things devotees want. I am sure thousands of people would love to take Banke Bihari home with them to Delhi. Must people have their way all the time?”
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