"Never Eaten Beef": YouTuber Amid Row Over Her Jagannath Temple Visit
YouTuber Kamiya Jani's visit to the Jagannath Temple in Puri triggered a political row earlier this week as the BJP accused the state government of facilating the entry of a "beef consumption promoter".
YouTuber Kamiya Jani's visit to the Jagannath Temple in Puri triggered a political row earlier this week as the BJP accused the state government of facilating the entry of a "beef consumption promoter". The influencer today issued a clarification saying that she is a practicing Hindu and has never "eaten or promoted beef".
"My motive behind going to Jagannath was to seek the blessings of Lord Jagannath and present information about the temple's infrastructure. I am a practicing Hindu. I have never eaten beef, and don't promote it ever," Ms Jani said in a video on her Instagram page.
"In the wake of the recent controversy, it is important that I put out real facts and the truth. This one incident, in no way, will shake my pride in my country and its rich culture. I am and will always be a proud Indian," she said.
The controversy broke out after Ms Jani posted a video highlighting Shree Jagannath's culture. The video also featured bureaucrat-turned-BJD leader VK Pandian speaking on the importance of 'Mahaprasad', the ongoing heritage corridor project and other aspects linked to temple development.
The BJP charged the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader of facilitating the entry of Ms Jani, who is accused of promoting beef consumption on a YouTube channel, in the 12th century shrine where the entry of non-Hindus is prohibited.
"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. Those responsible must face swift and severe consequences," wrote the Odisha unit of BJP in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
The post also featured photos of Ms Jani at a restaurant which serves beef.
The 35-year-old creator clarified that the photos were from a video shot in Kerala where she visited a restaurant started by two truck drivers which has become famous for its beef dish.
"Screenshots of one such video of mine, which was shot in Kerala, are being used. The story was about two truck drivers who started a outlet in Kerala and their beef dish has become a hit. Since I do not eat beef, I had veg black chana curry, rice appam and banana fritters," Ms Jani said.
"There are various other videos I have made about local cuisines, but that does not mean I eat it all. I hope this clarification reaches the people who were hurt by the misunderstanding," she added.
The BJD had hit back at the BJP saying that several of their party leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promoted Kamiya Jani's documentary on Hindu heritage and temples.