Calcutta HC lifts Puja curbs, slams Bengal ‘bid to appease minorities’

The order further said that Bijoy Dashami is a ritual for “puritan Hindus”, that can’t be “postponed to a day” beyond Bijoy Dashami, or “preponed at the whims” of the state government.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | Kolkata | Updated: October 10, 2016 8:31 pm
Bijoy Dashami, the day of the Durga idol immersion, falls on October 11 this year. The tazia procession for Muharram is to take place the next day.

The Calcutta High Court has held the time limits set by the West Bengal government for Durga idol immersion next week, on account of Moharram, as “arbitrary” and said the order was a “clear endeavour” by the state to “appease the minority section of the public”.

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While noting that “we live in difficult times” and it would be “dangerous to mix politics with religion”, the order of October 6 by a single-member bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta said no decision should be taken that could pit “one community against another”, and that “intolerance would rise in the event of such arbitrary decision” of the government.

“There has been a clear endeavour on the part of the state government to pamper and appease the minority section of the public at the cost of the majority section without there being any plausible justification. The reason therefore is, however, not far to seek,” the court added.

Bijoy Dashami, the day of the Durga idol immersion, falls on October 11 this year. The tazia procession for Muharram is to take place the next day.

Directing the police and civil administration to work together to identify routes for the immersion processions and for the tazia to be taken out by the Muslim community, taking care to “ensure that the routes do not overlap”, Justice Dutta said that “no effort” had been made to “satisfy” the Bench that “processions (tazia) on the eve of Moharram are an inseparable part of the mourning” associated with Moharram.

Noting that “there has never been a holiday” declared by the state or Centre on the eve of Muharram to “facilitate processions (tazia)”, the court said, “The administration has failed to take note of the fact that Moharram is also not the most important festival of people having faith in Islam… To put it curtly, the state government has been irresponsibly brazen in its conduct of being partial to one community, thereby infringing upon the fundamental rights of people worshipping Maa Durga.”

The judge added, “Never has there been a restriction on immersion of Durga idols on Bijoya Dashami at any earlier point of time. It has been brought to the notice of this Bench that in the years 1982 and 1983, Moharram was observed on the day following Bijoya Dashami, but no restriction of the nature impugned herein was imposed.”

The order further said that Bijoy Dashami is a ritual for “puritan Hindus”, that can’t be “postponed to a day” beyond Bijoy Dashami, or “preponed at the whims” of the state government.

Justice Dutta felt that apart from the fact that the restrictions on idol immersion were “unprecedented” in Bengal’s history, there is “no decision in black and white taken either by the civil administration or by the police administration indicating any reason for imposing the impugned restriction”.

The state government’s time restrictions pertained to Durga Pujas held in households and those organised by apartment complexes or societies. The directive, issued sometime in early August, said nobody could immerse the idols after 4 pm on Bijoya Dashami.

In his order, Justice Dutta allowed the three petitioners, representing two households and an apartment complex, to immerse their idols by 8.30 pm on Bijoya Dashami, and said the government’s order would apply to other households or apartment complexes as well.

The bigger puja pandals have already declared they would immerse their idols after Moharram.

Justice Dutta commented on this too, saying that community puja organisers who “indulge” in performing puja to “compete with one another” with the “purpose of winning prizes” offered by the state government could “afford” to retain Durga idols “beyond Bijoy Dashami”.

Advocate Lokenath Chatterjee, who represented the petitioners before Justice Dutta, said, “As of now there are no restrictions on household pujas and apartment pujas. That is one reading in the case. The state government should have ideally appealed, but they haven’t.”

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  1. I
    IslamForFools
    Oct 9, 2016 at 2:30 am
    This is what beech mamta stands for. She is Islamic HALAAL beech, not a Hindu. Moron Hindus vote her and get our own festivals and gods humiliated by tmc terrorist par
    Reply
    1. R
      Raghav
      Oct 10, 2016 at 6:40 pm
      Bengal does not seem to be part of india as all respectable Bengali's have left Bengal and settled in india. I think east and West Bengal should be united to form a complete country.
      Reply
      1. H
        Himanshu Ranjan
        Oct 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm
        Within next 15-25 years Durga Puja will become a thing of past. Bengali Hindus have lost East stan and will soon loose whatever of Bengal is left.
        Reply
        1. S
          Shahid
          Oct 9, 2016 at 6:50 am
          This kind of statements always keeps minorities on margins. It seems not govt but judgement has communalised the issue. The judge should have cancelled the ban and provided equal opportunity to both the communities rather giving statements that will further undermine any possibility to talk with minorities.
          Reply
          1. S
            Shahid
            Oct 9, 2016 at 8:39 am
            Wait for another 5 year. Or start repeating dadri
            Reply
            1. K
              Kumar
              Oct 11, 2016 at 1:43 am
              Every one including Muslim have same rights than why Muslim are given special treatment on such occasions by Govt. These Govt are not only janti-Hindus but anti-equality.
              Reply
              1. T
                TJ
                Oct 9, 2016 at 2:30 am
                It is a shame on bengali hindus that they vote for TMC .If they still have little bit of self respect they should teach Mamata a lesson.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Abhijeet Anand
                  Oct 10, 2016 at 3:39 am
                  Any award waapsi or intolerance?
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Abhimanyu Roy
                    Oct 11, 2016 at 10:46 am
                    It is true the restrictions on Durga immersion has been imposed by a Bengali ( Hindu Brahmin) CM run administration.But the same has also been challenged by a Bengali the pleader is a Bengali, the judgement has also been given by a judge who is Bengali. So Bengalies are loosing their teeth is not true. But the more than 3 decade rule by a declared secular but an underground Muslim appeaser left front has left the back bone of Bengali Hindus fractured. Present govt is not a secular one. It is openly favouring the Muslim community of the state and neglecting the Hindu rights.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Aditya Vardhan Madabhushani
                      Oct 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm
                      Except we are majority and you are minority. When it comes to community festivals, ours take precedence over yours. Is taziya an essential par of Muharram?? Because Durga puja is an essential part of Hinduism, especially around Dasara. if you dont like it, go to PAK. This will not go on for long and Hindus will start fighting back. You have brought his on yourselves "Citizen"
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Aditya Vardhan Madabhushani
                        Oct 9, 2016 at 4:04 pm
                        Except we are majority and you are minority. When it comes to community festivals, ours take precedence over yours. Is taziya an essential par of Muharram?? Because Durga puja is an essential part of Hinduism, especially around Dasara. if you dont like it, go to PAK. This will not go on for long and Hindus will start fighting back. You have brought his on yourselves "Citizen"
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          anand
                          Oct 9, 2016 at 3:36 am
                          Hats off to the Kolkata HC and the judge who delivered an impartial judgement and called spade a spade. The future of this nation depends solely on these insutions and men of integrity. Thank you sir .
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Anil
                            Oct 9, 2016 at 8:59 am
                            Finally Bengal is in India
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Ankush
                              Oct 9, 2016 at 7:52 am
                              So much hate?
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Ankush
                                Oct 9, 2016 at 7:55 am
                                Thank you Judge.
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  Ankush
                                  Oct 9, 2016 at 7:55 am
                                  Wonder why do Hindus keep crossing over from Bangladesh! Similarity in culture? God only knows what you are talking of. Speaking 1 language does not a Nation make. Just ask your loved ones about the genocides of 1946, 1949, 1951, 1971, 1990, 1992 and the attacks of 2001, 2006 and 2012.
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    Arunabho Chattopadhyay
                                    Oct 10, 2016 at 8:42 pm
                                    Finally Someone has senses !!
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      ALOK BANSAL
                                      Oct 9, 2016 at 8:06 am
                                      Salute to HC
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Rony Ghosh
                                        Oct 10, 2016 at 8:05 am
                                        Why blame others when our govt. is favouring minorities at the cost of hindus. We bengalis are now shameless creature on our own land.
                                        Reply
                                        1. B
                                          Bhagavath B S
                                          Oct 9, 2016 at 4:41 pm
                                          you have not told who will come next?
                                          Reply
                                          1. B
                                            Bhains
                                            Oct 9, 2016 at 6:37 am
                                            @sri.S, lt;br/gt;Are bhai bhains ke aage bin bajane ka kya fayda? If you really felt so bad about it, go and wake the self respect of the bengalis in bengal. Go rouse them to respect their own vallues and history.lt;br/gt;Whats the point in voting for Sickular governments if they do not respect your values and history and religion?lt;br/gt;If these sicukulars are truly secular then they should be treating every religion equally without any bias. Unfortunately that is not true. right?lt;br/gt;So stop bajaing bin in front of bhains. Go rouse the bengalis and help them gain some self respect for themselves, their history, heritage, religion and most of all for their Children to live a truly free life.
                                            Reply
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