A division bench of Madras High Court put the peacefools in their right place and allowed Hindu religious processions in all the streets of the village.
19.As stated earlier, before the year 2012, Temple’s processions were conducted through all the streets in the village and there was no problem. Even from the year 2012 to 2015, processions were conducted through all the streets and roads which have been approved by this Court in W.P.No.23487 of 2012 and W.P.No.33288 of 2015 filed by the private respondent herein. Therefore, it is evident that taking out Temple’s processions through all the streets and roads in V.Kalathur village have been the custom and practice of the Hindus for the past many decades. It seems from the year 2012 onwards, when the Muslims started objecting, the problem seems to have started.
From Para 20,
As per Section 180-A of the District Municipalities Act 1920, roads or streets should be used as access to the people irrespective of their religion, caste or creed. 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 it is to be accepted, then a day will come when a particular religious group which is predominantly occupying the area, will not allow the people belonging to other religious groups even to use the roads even for movement, transportation or the normal access. Even the marriage processions and funeral processions would be prohibited/prevented which is not good for our society.
From Para 25,
Ramasamy Udayar Vs District Collector and Ors on 30 Apr 2021
25.The abovesaid facts of the case would reveal that all along there had been religious tolerance and the religious festivals were conducted very smoothly and religious procession were conducted without any problem through all the streets and roads of the village. 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 which 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. India is a secular country and merely because one religious group is living in majority in a particular area, it cannot be a reason for not allowing other religious festivals or processions through that area. 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. Consequently, the secular character of our country will be destroyed or damaged.