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"It Is A Paradox That Closure Of Temple Actually Leads To Peace": Madras HC Expresses Anguish Over 'Ego Clashes' Between Worshippers

Upasana Sajeev
27 Aug 2022 2:00 AM GMT
It Is A Paradox That Closure Of Temple Actually Leads To Peace: Madras HC Expresses Anguish Over Ego Clashes Between Worshippers
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While directing the Assistant Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment to appoint a fit person to look into the affairs of the Sri Madurai Veeran, Karupparayan and Kannimar temple at Erode, the Madras High Court expressed concern on how temples were now becoming a cause for disturbance of law and order due to "ego clashes" between worshippers. A temple is a place...

While directing the Assistant Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment to appoint a fit person to look into the affairs of the Sri Madurai Veeran, Karupparayan and Kannimar temple at Erode, the Madras High Court expressed concern on how temples were now becoming a cause for disturbance of law and order due to "ego clashes" between worshippers.

A temple is a place which is reached out by God believers in search of peace. It is believed to be a structure designed to bring human beings and Gods together through worship, sacrifice and devotion. Unfortunately, in many cases, the Temple itself becomes a cause for disturbance and law and order problem and as a result, the whole purpose of a Temple is lost.

Justice Anand Venkatesh observed that temples are supposed to bring man closer to god. However presently, the courts were flooded with litigations and the police and revenue authorities were made to spend their lives resolving disputes between disputing parties.

This Court is flooded with Writ Petitions of this nature and the Police and Revenue authorities are made to spend their time in resolving the dispute between the parties. A Temple must create an environment to subside the ego of a person and on the contrary it is becoming a breeding ground for clash of ego between persons and God is pushed to the back seat. In such cases, the best course of action will be to close down such Temples so that peace and normalcy is restored in the locality. It is a paradox that closure of a Temple actually leads to peace.

The court was considering a petition seeking necessary protection for offering worship and conducting poojas and festivals at the temple situated in Erode District. The Additional Government Pleader submitted a report filed by the Tahsildar informing the court that there were repeated clashes between different parties whenever an attempt was made to conduct any festival in the temple. Though meetings were called and the parties were requested to conduct the festival in a peaceful manner, it was of no use. Thus, considering the gravity of the situation, it was decided that the Temple will not be reopened till the situation returns back to normalcy.

Upon such facts, the court directed the Assistant Commissioner of HR&CE to appoint a fit person to manage the affairs of the temple. The court noted that this would ensure that no one feels superior to another as the control will be with the Executive Officer/Fit Person.

The administration of the Temple must be handed over to the fit person and he will ensure that all are allowed inside the Temple to make their prayers. This will sufficiently take care of the ego clash between the parties and no one will feel superior than the other when the Temple is under the control of the Executive Officer / Fit person.

The court directed the Assistant Commissioner to appoint the fit person within a period of ten days. The temple was to be reopened only after the appointment of the Fit Person and if there were any further instances of law and order problem, the Superintendent of Police shall immediately take action against the concerned persons.

Case Title: M Sekar v. The District Collector and others

Case No: W.P.No.37524 of 2015

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 372

Counsel for the Petitioner: Mr R.Thirumoorthy for Mr.S.Rajanikanth

Counsel for the Respondent: Mr.U.Baranidharan (for R1 to R5) Additional Government Pleader Mr.Guru Prasath (for R6 and R7), Mr.Karthikeyan Government Advocate (for R8)

Click here to read/download the judgment

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