'Aarati', the evening ritual at Pashupatinath, is being held after playing the national anthem every day.
The ritual used to begin after chanting hymns for the past one decade. However, the new tradition began only three days ago as per the instruction of Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai.
Bhattarai instructed the authorities of Pashupati Area Development Trust and Ganga Aarati Team to play national anthem ahead of 'aarati' after he received suggestions from multiple quarters for the same.
Minister Bhattarai stated that the decision was taken with the view to promote nationalism. The minister's instruction has got mixed reactions. Some have highly praised the decision while some have taken strong exception.
"Aarati has a huge religious significance, and playing the national anthem ahead of aarati adds more color. I believe that it will give a positive message among the devotees who attend the 'aarati pooja' everyday," he said.