The Tamil Nadu government has clarified to the Madras High Court that there is no need for police permission to conduct functions, pujas and celebrations in the state in light of the Ram temple consecration in Ayodhya on Monday, January 22. This clarification was in response to a writ petition filed by one L Ganapathy alleging that the police was denying permission to conduct special bhajan and annadhanam (food donation) in a wedding hall in Chennai.
The government had told the Court that private organisers have to make arrangements on their own if they want to live stream the consecration of the temple. It further added, “By conducting such functions, [if] there is a possibility of spillover to the place which is accessed by the general public, the same has to be informed in order to enable the police to take necessary measures to keep the situation under control and to ensure that no disturbance is caused to the free movement of the general public.”
At the same time, the state government’s response added that if live streaming of the consecration ceremony is conducted on the premises of temples under the control of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE), appropriate permission must be sought from the temple authorities. The response read, “If such functions are planned to be conducted within temples, which are within the control of the HR&CE Department, the concerned official belonging to the Department must be informed about the same beforehand, and the permission will be granted subject to reasonable conditions imposed by the Department.”
The government also noted that if the police feel that a particular area is “sensitive” and vulnerable to communal tensions, the police can impose restrictions they see fit to ensure that there is no law and order problem.
In light of the state government’s response, the Court said that there is no prohibition on any celebration, puja or annadhanam and all of these must be done in a “responsible and pious manner without giving rise to any law and order problem.” The Court further said, “Ultimately everyone concerned must keep in mind that Bhakti towards God is only for peace and happiness and not to disturb the equilibrium prevailing in the society.” With this, L Ganapathy’s petition was disposed of.