Register Sabarimala Deity as Citizen: Rangarajan Chilkur

The priest of Chilkur Temple, Rangarajan requests the Government to add CAA for pious purposes

The priest of Chilkur Temple, Rangarajan requests the Government to add CAA for pious purposes
The priest of Chilkur Temple, Rangarajan requests the Government to add CAA for pious purposes

The Right to Religious Freedom of Hindu Deity Juristic Persons has been under threat from the Secular State in India.

The Parliament has recently enacted the Citizenship Amendment Bill to grant Citizenship to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community who entered into India to protect their right to Religious Freedom on or before Dec 31st 2014 from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan.

While the religious freedom of minority community is well protected in India the same cannot be said about the majority Hindu community.

It was explained by the Hon’ble Home Minister Shri Amit Shah ji that this Bill was brought by the Government headed by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji as part of the commitment made during partition to protect their right to religious freedom.

This approach by the Government of India is highly welcome as it was long overdue. While the religious freedom of minority community is well protected in India the same cannot be said about the majority Hindu community. This aspect has been highlighted in the Statement of Objects and Reasons to the recent private member Bill which is also famous as Hindu Temple Freedom bill by Dr Satyapal Singh MP from BJP tabled in Lok Sabha.“There has been widespread legitimate grievance and feeling of discrimination among Hindus that despite the Constitutional provisions and judicial decisions, Hindu temples and religious and charitable institutions are routinely taken over by the secular State on the pretext of maladministration, mismanagement, etc., whereas mosques and churches of the minorities are allowed to be exclusively managed by the respective communities even though article 26 confers right equally upon all sections of citizens. ……

The Supreme Court recently in the Ayodhya Temple judgement has held that the legal personality is conferred on the idol to protect the underlying pious purpose of the continued worship of the deity as incarnated in the idol. The Right to Religious Freedom of Hindu Deity Juristic Persons has been under threat from the Secular State in India. This aspect is
also clear from the Sabarimala Temple case where the SC wrongly held that Hindu Deities have no Constitutional Rights. It is commendable that the Supreme Court has accepted that this wrong judgement requires review and has referred it to a larger bench. It is thus extremely important to protect the Right to Religious freedom of Hindu Deities as Juristic persons and to ensure protection for the pious purpose of the continued worship of the deity who are treated as a perpetual minor in law.

This is the right time for crores of Ayyappa devotees to demand that the Central government ensure that Hindu deities are recognised as ‘Citizens’ so that no atheistic government nor the Supreme Court can ignore the rights of Hindu deities in such a manner in future.

The Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his interview during elections had said that the view of Justice Indu Malhotra in this regard was important gives hope.

We, therefore, demand that the Government of India, as part of the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Bill while registering Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community who entered into India prior to Dec 31st, 2014 as Citizens to protect their Religious freedom to also register Sabarimala Ayyappa as Citizen under Sec 5(4) of the Citizenship Act of 1955 which reads as follows:-

(4) The Central Government may, if satisfied that there are special circumstances justifying such registration, cause any minor to be registered as a citizen of India. This noble action can begin by registering the Sabarimala Deity as Citizen of India under Sec 5(4) of the Citizenship Act of 1955 to protect the Religious Freedom of Sabarimala Deity to practice His pious purpose of “Naishtika Brahmacharyam“… This action will fortify Hindu Deity’s fundamental rights making it impossible for the secular state to selectively control the administration of Hindu temples.

The Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his interview during elections had said that the view of Justice Indu Malhotra in this regard was important gives hope.

The rights and privileges of all such rulers, including the ruler of all rulers Lord Padmanabha Swamy deity, were protected in our Constitution as advised by Sardar Patel in his address to the Constituent Assembly.

The Supreme Court judgement of 2018 which is under review had held wrongly that the Sabarimala deity does not have fundamental rights and hence the will of the deity does not matter is in violation of the established principles in the Privy Council judgements, which are so far being followed by the Supreme Court and the Kerala High Court. This judgement is also in violation of the nine-judge bench judgement in State Trading Corporation of India Ltd Vs Commercial Tax Officer and Ors, which has held that rights under Article 14, Article 21, Article 25 etc are available to deities (juristic persons as well). Further, it did not consider the above history, which grants fundamental rights of citizens to all Hindu deities.

In view of the above Temples Protection Movement demands that the government must take immediate steps to declare that all Hindu deities have fundamental rights of ‘Citizens’ in our Constitution.

C.S. Rangarajan letter is attached below:

C.S. Rangarajan Sabarimala Letter 14.12.19 by PGurus on Scribd


Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

C.S. RANGARAJAN

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