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Madras HC rejects plea to conduct consecration of Thanjavur temple

The court said it was reluctant to interfere with the religious functions and ceremonies of temples, unless a strong case had been made out and established that religious practices were violative of the Constitution.

January 31, 2020 / 09:19 PM IST

The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed petitions seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to perform the consecration of Thanjavur Big temple in Tamil, saying it does not consider it appropriate to interfere with the shrine's religious functions.

A division bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and T Ravindran made the observation and directed the authorities concerned to file a compliance report on the conduct of the consecration of the Brihadeeswara temple, as proposed by them in their affidavit, within four weeks.

The court said it was reluctant to interfere with the religious functions and ceremonies of temples, unless a strong case had been made out and established that religious practices were violative of the Constitution.

It also observed that the arrangement made at the temple for the consecration showed that it was proposed to give Tamil language due prominence as per the 'Agama' principles and as done earlier.

It also noted that the Sanskrit language has not been given special status, particularly, ignoring the Tamil language.

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"We do not find any sufficient cause to accede to the case projected by the petitioners... We do not deem it fit and appropriate to interfere with the religious functions and ceremonies of the temple in question by giving any direction qua the performance of the consecration ceremony on February 5," it said.

Earlier, the state government had informed the court that the consecration ceremony of the temple would be conducted in both Sanskrit and Tamil languages. However, the petitioners have submitted that the temple was Saivite and the consecration should be performed in Tamil language.

The shrine, popularly known as the Big Temple, was being consecrated after 23 years and the ceremony is being held on February 5. The preliminary poojas commenced on January 27.
PTI
first published: Jan 31, 2020 09:15 pm

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