High Court (India)

March 06, 2019

Give up self-torturing faith-based practices, urges Madras HC


Justice N. Seshasayee said that no God expected anyone to torture his or her own body for atonement, while pressing temple authorities to give up self-torturing faith-based practices.

A petition challenging the rejection of crane usage in the milk pot was being considered by the Madurai Bench of the High Court.

One of the reasons being that till last year, only three cranes were used, whereas this year, five cranes were going to be used.

"Why permission is denied for this year is to be justified on the basis of certain objective parameters and not on the basis of certain ambiguous terms. The only difference is that last year, they used 3 cranes but this year, they are going to use 5 cranes. How it would affect public interest? The determination of disturbing the public interest raises curious question for which this Court does not find any materials in the impugned order,” observed the Judge.

Calling for change, the Judge ruled, "This is also time for the organizers of the function to start thinking of giving up this kind of faith-based practices. After all, no God is expecting from anybody to torture his own body for atonement. What might have been relevant and consistent in ancient times need not necessarily have contextual relevance. It does not also seem to interfere with what the priests in the temples do in performing poojas for the deity. The temple authorities and organizers of the function therefore should take the first step in this direction and bring about necessary awareness among those who perform 'PARAKKUM KAVADI' to bring about a larger change."

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