A video is doing rounds on social media, in which it can be seen that a priest in Khurda, Odisha, giving blessing devotees with his feet.
The video which has been shared by news agency ANI, was apparently taken on Vijaya Dashami. According to News18, the video was taken after Vahana Puja, which revolves around the worship of vehicles. In the video, various drivers of vehicles can be seen sitting in a queue, while the priest who seems to be reciting prayers, arrives to bless the devotees. He can then be seen touching the backs of the devotees with his foot.
While speaking to ANI, the priest R Samantaray said, "Other rituals were also followed, 'jajman' have faith in us. People who circulated it don't know about puja, they want to show it in some other light." "Some people might have found it offending but the tradition has been followed for years now," he added. The video has led to an outrage on social media, with some people even calling it offensive and dehumanizing.