Muslim mobs have routinely attacked unarmed, barefoot Kawariyas (a
Shiva devotee on a religious duty) with sticks and stones, but popular
media houses twisted the facts by presenting these incidents as “
The incident took place in a Muslim-dominated locality
in Perambalur district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The
ritual involves a temple procession through the streets; the affidavit
of the Deputy Superintendent of Police confirmed that the “three days
festival of the aforesaid temples were peacefully conducted till the
year 2011.” From 2012 on, Muslim groups in the village started objecting
to the celebration of various Hindu festivals, including this three-day
procession, deriding the festival as a “sin.”
The Hindus decided to approach the police and seek protection for
conducting the temple festivals and holding the processions. The court
observed that until 2011, these festivities were conducted through all
the streets of the villages without any objections. When the Muslims
opposed these religious rituals and processions in 2012, the Hindus
sought protection from the police and carried out the festivities until
2015 with restrictions laid down by law enforcement, which also provided
On May 8, the Madras High Court observed that objections had been
raised by locals belonging to the Muslim community, notwithstanding the
fact that the Court had approved the Hindus’ performance of the temple
rituals and religious processions, per Section 180A of the District
Municipalities Act of 1920.
A two-judge bench of P Velmurugan and N Kirubakarn, presiding over
the case, observed that such religious intolerance is damaging to the
secular fabric of India. The court also emphasized that if one religious
group exercised such vehement resistance to the religious ceremonies of
another, it would lead to a state of riot and chaos.
Reiterating that the dominance of one religious group in an area
should not lead to the proscription of the rituals and celebrations of
another in a locality, the court remarked, “Merely because one religious
group is dominating in a particular locality, it cannot be a ground to
prohibit from celebrating religious festivals or taking processions of
other religious groups through those roads…If religious intolerance is
going to be allowed, it is not good for a secular country. Intolerance
in any form by any religious group has to be curtailed and prohibited.”
The court also added, “In this case, intolerance of a particular
religious group is exhibited by objecting for the festivals which have
been conducted for decades together and the procession through the
streets and roads of the village is sought to be prohibited, stating
that the area is dominated by Muslims and therefore, there cannot be any
Hindu festival or procession through the locality.”
This is not the first time that Muslims have tried to disrupt or put a
complete ban on a Hindu celebration. The Durga Pooja is a major
religious festival celebrated by Hindus worldwide, and is of paramount
importance in the Bengali Hindu culture. Appallingly, 300 Hindu families
in the Hindu-dominated Kanglapahari village of West Bengal’s Birbhum
district were forbidden to celebrating Durga Pooja for several years
because of objections raised by 25 Muslim families in the village.
The district administrative machinery perpetually denied the Pooja
committee the permission to hold the festivities, gratifying the 25
Muslim families’ abject display of intolerance in a “secular” country.
Even the local panchayat and Nalhati police jointly barred puja
organisers from hosting the principal Hindu festival. The Muslim
pandering-TMC government did not aid the Bengali Hindus, either, thereby
establishing that the Muslims don’t always have to outnumber
non-Muslims to have things their way.
The police in this state have been relegated to such a toothless
state that a mob of Muslims attacked the religious procession of Ram
Navami in Asansol with stones, brickbats and crude bombs, killing one,
in March 2018.
Over 50 civilians and 20 police officials were injured in the violence.
Several vehicles around the site of unrest were torched, and a nearby
Shitala temple was ransacked.
Again, such radicals don’t depend on the inefficacy of the state
machinery or their increasing numbers to target Hindu festivals and
wreak havoc. There were eight reported attacks on Durga Puja
celebrations across India in 2019 alone, with the states of Uttar
Pradesh, Assam, and Bengal registering some major unrest. It was
reported from Gaya that Muslims pelted the procession with stones on the
final day of the Puja, when the procession reached the Jama Masjid
area, and many police officials were not spared, either.