We are proud to be known for our religious tolerance and we need to maintain this for our country to grow and flourish, the court said.
The Madras High Court has allowed celebration of Christmas in a private land in a place in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, which was disallowed by the police authorities citing law and order problems.
S Jayaprakash submitted before the court that his mother used to permit a Christian society to use her private land situated to celebrate Christmas and that for the past few years, the police authorities declined permission to the petitioner to celebrate Christmas, on the ground that a Hindu group is also celebrating their pooja and thiruvizha during the same time. He told the court that the Hindu group is performing their pooja at a Kavu situated beyond 300 meters from his private land.
This writ plea was seriously contested by the Hindu group, which made a serious remark in the counter affidavit that “if the fourth respondent (police) wanted to kill all the Hindu people in Aramannam area, let him have the permission at the cost of Hindu people and that the Hindu people are ready to leave this world to facilitate the Christians community”. They also contended that the Christians have arranged the celebration in the residential house in order to create law and order problem, disturbing the peaceful celebration of the Hindu festival.
“It is really surprising to note that the fifth respondent has expressed such a serious and remarkable idea sensitizing the issue as a serious matter affecting the sentiments of Hindus, who are stated to be living in minority in the area,” Justice SS Sundar observed.
The court said that the petitioner’s request cannot be turned down on this count and observed: “Secularism is a basic feature of our constitution and the present problem or dispute between the petitioner on the one hand and the fifth respondent on the other hand can be resolved only if Article 25 is understood in its letter and spirit and the object and principle with which it was enshrined. In this case, no specific activity of the petitioner in connection with Christmas celebration is pointed out as one intending / affecting the religious right of the fifth respondent. If the petitioner is prevented from celebrating the Christmas function on the date of Christmas, it is certainly a restriction affecting the right that is guaranteed to the Citizen of this country under Article 25 of our Constitution. We are proud to be known for our religious tolerance and we need to maintain this for our country to grow and flourish.”