Quoting the famous statement of Karl Marx “Religion is the opium of the masses,” the Madras High Court Bench criticised people who fight over conduct of temple festivals and spend considerable time, money and energy on prolonging legal battles over how and in what manner should God be worshipped.

Disposing of a writ appeal related to a dispute between two villagers over consecrating a local temple, the First Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice S. Tamilvanan said: “Masses do not stop fighting even for worshipping God. At times, it results in the administrative authorities locking up the temples so that God can rest in peace.”

The writ appeal had been filed by the residents of Krishnapuram village in Virudhunagar district, Tamil Nadu seeking a direction to the residents of Kovilpatti village to accept donations from the appellants for the consecration of Kaliamman temple scheduled to be held on February 8 and 9.

The appellants also insisted on issuance of receipts for donations made by them. Appearing for the appellants, senior counsel M. Ajmal Khan claimed that residents of Kovilpatti were attempting to alienate his clients from the consecration ceremony though the temple was instituted jointly by the residents of both the villages.

On the other hand, the respondent counsel Veera Kathiravan said the appellants could not claim any right over the temple situated in Kovilpatti.

In order to resolve the dispute, the judges directed the temple management to accept the donations offered by Krishnapuram residents and observed that such contribution would not create special equities in their favour if any of the parties happened to file a civil suit. “This working arrangement has been made hoping that better sense will prevail over the masses,” they added.

Source : The Hindu

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