Chennai: The Madras High Court has taken a firm position and said religious intolerance is not good for a secular country and resistance by one religious group, if reciprocated by another, could lead to chaos and riots.
A bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and P Velmurugan made this remark during the hearing of an appeal over taking out temple processions by villagers at V Kalathur in Perambalur district in Tamil Nadu on a specified route, objected to by local Muslims.
The Court said:
Merely because one religious group is dominating in a particular locality, it cannot be a ground to prohibit other religious groups from celebrating religious festivals or taking out processions 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.
In this case, intolerance of a particular religious group is exhibited by objecting for the festivals that have been conducted for decades together and the procession through the streets and roads of the village are 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.
If the contention of the private respondent is to be accepted, then it would create a situation in which minority people cannot conduct any festival or procession in most of the areas in India.
If resistance is being exhibited by one religious group and it is reciprocated by the other religious groups, there would be chaos, riots, religious fights, causing loss of lives and destruction of properties.