Opinion

Calcutta High Court Slams Mamata Government for Restricting Durga Pooja to Appease “Minorities”!

When secularism becomes pseudo-secularism, this kind of stupid decisions are done by the governments. The Bengal government had ordered to celebrate Vijaya Dashami or Bijoy Dashami, as it is called in Bengal, on the next day of the actual day. That means Bijoy Dashami would e celebrated on Ekadashi. The reason given by the State government is that the tazia procession on the eve of Muharram is overlapping with the procession for immersion of Maa Durga idol.
But the High Court of Kolkata has disapproved the restrictions set by the State Government and the single judge bench has said that immersion of Durga idol on the day of Vijaya Dashami has been in practice since ages and the decision of the government in power is arbitrary.
The judge has categorically said that the government’s decision is to appease minority section at the cost of majority without being any plausible justification. The bench also took notice of 1982 and 1983 celebrations where Muharram was observed on the day following Bijoy Dashami.
The court also clarified that Bijoy Dashami is a ritual for “puritan Hindus” and it can’t be “postponed to a day” beyond Bijoy Dashami or “preponed at the whims” of the state government. Justice Dipankar Datta said “no decision should be taken that could pit one community against another and intolerance would rise in the event of such arbitrary decision by the government.
The Constitution of India mentions that India is a secular state. The secularism in India has been defined with a different perspective than the western definition. In Indian context, State should treat every religion equally and state and religion are not separated as in case of western context.
That means that the State Government of Bengal should have equal opportunity for both the religious communities to celebrate their respective festivals. It would have been a great model for the rest of the country.
Moreover, if the state had not interfered into this matter, then probably Hindus and Muslims would have celebrated Bijoy Dashami and Muharram harmoniously. But the political parties are the ones who are instigating the communal consciousness among the people.
Therefore, the governments in power should be more careful while giving such orders and work towards increasing social harmony ad peace and tranquillity in the society. Let the governments not play the role of divisive force between the communities but be a cohesive force. National and cultural unity of the nation should prevail over the political agendas. The honourable High Court has given faith for the people of this country that it would hold the right thing high even when the executive body goes wrong.

Akshara Damle
You can reach the author on twitter @aksharadamle
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