Kamiya Jani clears air amid Jagannath temple visit row: ‘Never eaten beef’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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YouTuber Kamiya Jani clears air amid Jagannath temple visit row: ‘Never eaten beef’

Dec 24, 2023 01:20 PM IST

The controversy broke out after a video of the 35-year-old content creator with a BJD leader on Jagannath temple premises went viral on social media.

Social media influencer Kamiya Jani on Sunday gave a statement for the first time after a furore broke out over her visit to the Jagganath Temple in Odisha's Puri. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Jani, founder of popular online food and travel channel Curly Tales, of being a “beef promoter” and alleged Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader VK Pandian of giving her access to the 12th-century shrine.

Social media influencer Kamiya Jani(Instagram)
Social media influencer Kamiya Jani(Instagram)

Issuing a clarification on the matter, Kamiya Jani said she is a practising Hindu and has “never eaten or promoted beef”.

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“In the wake of the recent controversy, it is important that I put out real facts and the truth,” she said. “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 practising Hindu. I have never eaten beef, and don't promote it ever.”

The controversy broke out after a video of the 35-year-old content creator with the bureaucrat-turned-BJD leader on Jagannath temple premises went viral on social media. BJP's Odisha unit shared an earlier screenshot of the YouTuber purportedly consuming beef and juxtaposing it with an image of her eating the 'Mahaprasadam'.

Union ministers Giriraj Singh, Dharmendra Pradhan and even the opposition Congress in the state joined the bandwagon to criticise the social media host. "By facilitating the entry of a beef promoter into the revered shrine, VK Pandian has shown utmost disregard to religion, history and spirituality," Giriraj Singh wrote on X.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Pattnayak and party’s campaign committee chairperson Bijay Patnaik sought to know who asked Pandian to take Jani inside the shrine.

“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,” the state BJP shared on X (formerly Twitter).

The content creator clarified that the screenshot of her allegedly eating beef was from a video shot at a restaurant in Kerala. According to the video, she visited a restaurant started by two truck drivers and became famous for its beef dishes.

“The story was about two truck drivers who started an outlet in Kerala and their beef dish has become a hit. Since I do not eat beef, I had vegetarian black chana curry, rice appam and banana fritters,” Jani said.

She further went on to mention all the recognition she got for promoting Indian culture and heritage through her special docu-series including the words of appreciation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah. She said as influencers who produce shows on food and culture, it is important that they give information about every dish but they do not necessarily eat them.

(With agency inputs)

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