Tamil Nadu

HC says no to lighting Mahadeepam close to Dargah

This November 19, 2013 photo shows preparations being made for lighting the Mahadeepam in Tiruparankundram, near Madurai. Photo: G. Moorthy  

 The Madras High Court Bench in Madurai on Thursday dismissed a writ petition filed by an office-bearer of Akhil Bharat Hindu Maha Sabha (ABHMSB) seeking permission to light the Karthigai Mahadeepam on Kudhiarai Sunai Thittu, a stone tower close to Sulthan Sikkandhar Avulia Dargha atop Tirupparankundram hills, near here, on Friday.

Justice M. Venugopal rejected the plea on the ground that the police as well as the temple administration feared break out of communal clashes in the district if such permission was granted. "No religion prescribes that prayers should be performed by disturbing the peace of others and in fact, others’ rights should also be honoured and respected," the judge said.

According to the petitioner, it had been a practice since time immemorial to light the Mahadeepam at Kudhirai Sunai Thittu during the Tamil month of Karthigai every year. However, due to certain disputes, the location was shifted to Uchipillaiyar Temple for the last few years. This year, his organisation sought police protection to light it in the traditional place. But the request was rejected and hence the writ petition.

On the other hand, Special Government Pleader B. Pugalendhi contended that no private organisation could claim a right to light the Mahadeepam since it vests exclusively with the temple management which owns the hillock and falls under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department. He said that the High Court too had recognised the right way back in 1996 itself.

Further stating that Madurai district was a communally sensitive place, he said that the Revenue Divisional Officer had called for a peace committee meeting on November 25 to decide the modalities for the Karthigai Deepam festival to be conducted this year. It was resolved in the meeting that the Mahadeepam would be lighted at Uchipillayar Temple this year also.

However, with respect to the festival to be celebrated next year, it was resolved that a committee would be formed at least a month before the festival to convey to the State Government the desire of Bharatiya Janata Party, Hindu Munnani and other organisations to light the Mahadeepam on Kudhirai Sunai Thittu and to act according to the Government’s decision.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 5:29:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-says-no-to-lighting-mahadeepam-close-to-dargah-atop-tirupparankundram/article6662145.ece

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