Why allow kids in Muharram processions, HC asks state

Muharram marks the anniversary of the battle of Karbala in which Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed.

Written by Aamir Khan | Mumbai | Published: November 25, 2014 2:47 am

Calling it a “very serious issue”, the Bombay High Court (HC) Monday expressed concern over participation of children during the mourning processions of Muharram and asked the state why it was not doing anything to restrain children below 18 years.

“It is a very serious issue. Why are children below the age 18 years allowed to participate? Photographs show that two-three year-old children participate,” remarked Justices V M Kanade and Anuja Prabhudessai.

Muharram marks the anniversary of the battle of Karbala in which Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed. Family members accompanying Hussein ibn Ali were also killed or subjected to humiliation.

A public interest litigation (PIL) has sought HC’s directions to the state for restraining children from participation, stating they were slashed with sharp objects and knives during the mourning.

According to the PIL, on the concluding day of Muharram, Chehlum, which is on December 14, there would be more “disturbing” scenes on the streets this year.

The PIL also states that use of objects like knives and blades might lead to infections to both children and adults as the same objects are used passed on from one person to another.

The petitioner, activist Faisal Banaraswala, through his lawyer Dr Gunratan Sadavarte, told the HC that participants who inflict bodily injuries on themselves and children in the name of mourning were “bad in law”.

The petition said it did not oppose any freedom of religion, but only the act, which led to wounding of the human body, on the grounds of “health, public order, morality and provisions of the Constitution for social welfare”.

Describing the ritual as “horrible” and “unbearable” to observe, the petition states that the processions are carried out in Imam Bada, Abbas Chowk, Bhendi Bazaar and several other areas during the 40-day period of mourning.

“All this takes place in public in the presence of police personnel, including security agencies of the state machinery,” the PIL claimed.

Sadavarte, therefore, sought a direction to the state government for restraining participants from inflicting injuries to children and themselves.
The HC has asked the public prosecutor to file a reply on November 28.

aamir.khan@expressindia.com

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  1. S
    Shoaib Mirza
    Nov 29, 2014 at 9:00 pm
    By filing this pil you are not proving that you care or you love shia's childs you are just proving that your just hate us and you are trying to stop matam of imam hussain .if we will not allow children's in matam or juloos then how they will learn and how they take our feeling for imam hussain till the day of justice .You are like bloody isis persons who are going to stop matam with the weapons and you are trying to stop matam with the pen.WE LOVED IMAM HUSSAIN ..I AM PROUD TO BE SHIA
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      faizi mirza
      Nov 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm
      Ye monkey hai faisal. Isne apni bhadaas nikaalne k liye court me apeel ki hai inlogo ka main mudda hai ki kisi bhi tarah matam ko band karwaao.. Jo ki ta qayamat nhi hone waala chae isis waale roke chahe aur koi... Husain zindabad
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        Afzal Memon
        Nov 25, 2014 at 10:35 am
        First of All... just want to share a limelight information that about 350years back all the sects in Muslim Community used to do Matam in Muharram.. it was some Maulana from sunni jamat who stated a fatwa stating that its haraam... what right he had to do so when the riwayat (tradition) was on for past 1100 years. was he Prophet? was he Imam? or was he Wali? No. He was nothing except a human being no status above rest of us... it was sunni community peoples fault who obe a persons order instead of Imams Tradition.... want reply on this from Mr. Faisal Banaraswala. aka Faisal Banarasi...
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          Haydarali Jeraj
          Nov 25, 2014 at 11:17 am
          It would be in the best interest of everyone if the practices mentioned in the Muharram processions are first understood by the performers. Once the said practise is understood, it would be very easy to manage its performance, in future this, the Ulemas have an important role to play. They have taken a back-seat in the past fearing for their own lives and those of who oppose it.It would be very much beneficial to eliminate any ignorance on the part of those concerned and affected by this practise, I am referring to both parties; those in favor and those in opposition of this practise.
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            Amaan
            Nov 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm
            Let me tell you that India has right to freedom of religion. So being a part of Religion ritual you can't stop this. And if they are doing this then why is it paining to others.
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