From banning Hindu festivals on one pretext or another, the courts have gone to the next level by ordering Hindu samaj to take jamaat’s consent to celebrate a Hindu festival. The Madras High Court has directed a Hindu petitioner to obtain consent from the local jamaat before installing a Ganesh pandal.
Mahalakshmi, a resident of the housing board colony in Ukkadam, Coimbatore had petitioned the court to allow installation of a Ganesh pandal at the colony. It appears that the police had denied permission to put up a pandal citing that Muslims live predominantly in the colony and it could lead to law and order issues. Mahalakshmi had sought the court to direct the police to allow the pandal.
Her petition said that residents of the colony want to celebrate Ganesh chaturthi by installing a murti of Ganesha and that Muslims living in the surrounding areas do not have any problem with it. Citing that they are even ready to participate in the celebrations and agreed to offer Annadana, she sought the court to direct the police to give permission for the pandal.
The Additional Public Prosecutor who appeared for the police argued that as the area is surrounded by Muslim community who live there predominantly allowing the pandal would lead to law and order problem. The petitioner’s counsel argued that even the local jamaat people have no objections and are even willing to take part in the celebrations.
When there is clearly no grounds to refuse permission for the pandal, Justice N Sathish Kumar who heard the matter said, “the petitioner is permitted to file an affidavit/undertaking before the police station concerned along with the affidavit of Jamath Committee to install Vinayakar idol and conduct the Chaturthi festival on August 31”. He went a step ahead and said that even though the pandal is allowed, no procession should be taken and that the celebrations should be limited to the housing board colony.
Hindus are time and again being treated as second class citizens both by the state and the judiciary. Hindus are the majority population of Bharat. But no other community thinks celebrating their festival would offend Hindus or police bans them on the pretext of protecting law and order. There have been many instances of Muslims throwing stones, shouting anti-Hindu slogans during their religious processions. But no Muslim celebration or procession is banned citing law and order.
Why do Hindus need to take the consent of a jamaat to celebrate their own festival? How does it affect Muslims? Hindus lost their lives and were maimed in the 1998 Coimbatore bombing and the riots in 1997. Yet Abdul Nazar Madani, the brain behind the bomb blasts was acquitted and roaming freely, while Hindus have to beg Muslims to even conduct festivals.