State-run Air India on Saturday apologised for an article published in its in-flight magazine Shubh Yatra which said non-vegetarian food is served in the 12th century Jagannath temple of Puri. The article, titled ‘Devotion can be Delicious’, said the Jagannath Temple’s kitchen in Puri has had since its inception 500 cooks and 300 helpers to serve 1 lakh people round-the-clock every day.
“Said to be the largest in the country, the Jagannath Temple’s kitchen in Puri since its inception has had an army of 500 cooks and 300 helpers to serve 1,00,000 people every day, round the clock; which means almost 285 varieties of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes every day,” the article published in this month’s magazine had said.
Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said all copies of the magazine as well as its online version has been withdrawn. “AI apologises for the error. Our intention was not to hurt sentiments. ShubhYatra magazine copies have been removed with immediate effect,” the airline said in its Twitter account. “I, AI CMD Ashwani Lohani, offer my apologies regarding the article on ShubhYatra. Corrective action has been taken regarding the same,” the airline said in another tweet. It said the writer of the article has also provided a written apology.
Earlier in the day, members of Jagannath Sena staged demonstration in front of the temple in protest of the report. Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said he has taken up the matter with Air India. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik too described the incident as unfortunate.