22 July 2023 5:13 AM GMT
The Madras High Court on Friday lamented that temple festivals these days are merely becoming centre stage for groups to show their strength and no devotion is actually involved in conducting the stage. “The purpose of a temple is to enable the devotees to worship god for peace and happiness. However, unfortunately, temple festivals are perpetuating violence and it is only becoming...
The Madras High Court on Friday lamented that temple festivals these days are merely becoming centre stage for groups to show their strength and no devotion is actually involved in conducting the stage.
“The purpose of a temple is to enable the devotees to worship god for peace and happiness. However, unfortunately, temple festivals are perpetuating violence and it is only becoming a center stage for groups to show who is powerful in the particular area. There is no devotion involved in conducting these festivals and rather it has become a show of strength by one group or the other. This completely defeats the very purpose of conducting temple festivals,” the court observed.
Justice Anand Venkatesh also noted that these festivals end up perpetuating violence where different groups end up fighting with each other and it is better to close down such temples to avert these instances of violence. The court added that unless a man drops his ego and goes to the temple to seek blessings, the whole purpose of having a temple is xof no use.
“If temples are going to perpetuate violence, the existence of temples will have no meaning and in all such cases, it would be better to close down those temples so that the violence can be averted. Till the man drops his ego and goes to the temple seeking for the blessings of the god, the whole purpose of having a temple is of no use,” the court added.
The court was hearing a plea moved by K.Thangarasu @ K.Thangaraj, claiming to be the Hereditary Trustee of Arulmighu Sri Ruthra Maha Kaliyamman Alayam seeking police protection for conducting a festival at the temple. It was argued that the festival is conducted every year during the Aadi month and this year it was supposed to be conducted from July 23rd to August 1st. To ensure no untoward incidents take place, the petitioner had moved for police protection.
On the other hand, the State informed the court that there was an ongoing dispute between two parties for conducting the festival. It was further submitted that though a Peace Committee meeting was conducted by the Tahsildar, a settlement could not be reached. Additionally, there was also a dispute regarding who would keep the idol of Vinayagar inside the temple. Hence, it was submitted that granting permission for festival will lead to law and order problems, and it is in this light that the Tahsildar ordered that no one should keep the Voinayagar idol inside the temple.
The court noted that while Police and the Revenue department have important functions to perform, their time and energy is often wasted in resolving the disputes between the groups . The court added that groups often have no devotion to God and are more interested in showing their strength.
“The time and energy of the Police and Revenue department is unnecessarily wasted in resolving dispute between the groups, who are fighting over their right to conduct the temple festival. The Police and Revenue have got other important functions to perform and their time is wasted by trying to resolve the dispute between two groups who have no devotion to god and are more interested in showing their strength over the other. In the considered view of this Court, the precious time of the Revenue and Police cannot be wasted in disputes of this nature,” the court observed.
Thus, the court observed that there was no question of providing police protection and the parties had liberty to conduct festival peacefully without their ego coming to the forefront. The court also directed the police to interfere and take necessary action in case of law and order problem.
Thus, the court dismissed the petitions.
Case Title: K Thangarasu @ K Thangaraj v The Secretary
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 205
Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr.P.Ayyaswamy
Counsel for the Respondents: Mr. A.Damodaran Additional Public Prosecutor