OCTOBER 2015 TOPIC: A recent court order observed that the fundamental right of practising or professing religion did not extend to “any and every place.” Hence, festivals and practices of worship cannot take away the citizen’s fundamental right to silence and right to functional roads and pavements. Your comments.
While practising and preaching religion in a secular nation like India is alright, doing the same with a hullabaloo on the streets is not! People like to celebrate their faith in the grandest manner but I believe that it is highly inappropriate to do so at the cost of hampering someone’s peace with the noise and traffic. Not everybody, at all times, wants to celebrate. People having work, students having exams, mothers trying to put their crying babies to sleep, etc., are amongst the innumerable other reasons why noise levels emerging from festivals, processions and preaching should be brought to a minimum. Blockage of roads due to processions is not only a cause of several delays but also a major reason for accidents on the roads. Even after the season of festivities, the negative impact caused by them remains.
Priyanka Patra (18)
Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Bhubaneswar
I am in favour of the decision of the court that the fundamental right of practising and professing religion did not extend to “any and every place”. We are all aware of the fact that India is a secular nation and every citizen has the right to practise any religion he wants to, but this doesn’t mean that they should get others in trouble for the sake of the religious practices. Nevertheless, India is a country of festivals and in every festival there is noise pollution to some extent, but we should make sure that the degree of the noise should not cross the limits set by the government.
A. Y. Javed (19)
Jadavpur University, Kolkata
I agree that the right of practising religion does not extend to any and every place. Be it the loudspeakers blaring at a jaagran in a nearby temple or a jhaki in the locality, it is a matter of inconvenience for the people residing in the locality or passersby. Talking of religious beliefs and sentiments they are equally valuable and genuine even if someone doesn’t follow an inconvenient ritual. It’s a matter of devotion and how sensitive someone is towards the society. A true devotee may pray wholeheartedly without organizing a jaagran which won’t decrease his love and devotion for the almighty nor will decrease God’s blessings on him. A jhaki blocking road for hours may do no good to the devotee but can prove to be troublesome for an employee driving to his workplace.
God only created mankind, not religion. He needs no rituals to be followed to make him happy. He only needs true believers and more humanity from people.
Divya Parwani (17)
MGD Girls’ School, Jaipur
Yes, festival and practices of worship cannot take away the citizen’s fundamental right to silence, and why should one try to do so? But as we are living and believing in democracy we can’t stop people celebrating their festivals. But, all we need is to co-operate with each other. If we can learn to celebrate our festivals without disturbing others then there will be no problem at all. We just need to learn to “live and let live”.
Vrutti Adhyaru M (19)
As Indians we all love celebrating festivals with the same enthusiasm. But little do we know how it affects the people around us. According to me, celebration is something that you do for happiness, and disturbing people because of it is unacceptable.
Suhaina Javid (14)
Cluny Matriculation Hr Sec. School, Salem, Tamil Nadu
As a law student, I personally feel that a citizen’s fundamental right to silence and right to functional roads and pavements, cover a major aspect of every person’s right to life and personal liberty. Thus, one cannot be deprived of one’s own peaceful life. If limitations are not imposed on citizen’s right to practise religion, then people often tend to misuse it. People should carry out their religious practices in restricted areas so that it does not disturb others. Thus, in support of Supreme Court’s order, I would conclude that the citizen’s fundamental right to life and personal liberty should always be given an upper hand.
Aanchal Malhotra (16)
Police DAV Public School, Jalandhar
Where on the one hand the constitution of India grants us the freedom to “profess, practise and propagate any religion” under Articles 25-28, there on the other hand our judiciary curtails our religious autocracy when we abdicate or become an obstruction in the use of freedom to religion by others. Hence, in my opinion the recent decision is quite fair and valid as it doesn’t restrict our freedom to religion but only limits the use of this freedom for protection of the rights of others.
Vatsala Sharma (20)
Law College Dehradun
Religion is not about blind faith but believing in one’s self. Religious rituals practised in an exaggerated manner may lead one astray. Will playing loudspeakers in a colony in the name of god and disturbing the entire colony make any god happy? Girls are still sacrificed in the name of worship. Will killing your own daughter give you good luck? We all saw the movie Oh My God!. Kanjilalji clearly said that tonnes of milk and oil are wasted in the name of worship. So religious rituals cannot take away an individual’s fundamental right.
Harshita Rawat (16)
St Anthony’s Junior College, Agra
Celebrating festivals is great; actually amazing. It’s lots of fun, but only if it lets others be comfortable too. Setting up temporary booths on roads and footpaths leads to great discomfort and inconvenience to other people. Also all this noise pollution during Ganesh Visarjan, Navratri, etc., has adverse effects on people’s health too. Practising religion is not wrong, only until it does not violate others’ rights. It’s alright to profess religion but not at the cost of others’ comfort!
Riya Lalwani (15)
Sophia Sr Sec School, Ajmer
In a democratic country like India everyone has freedom to live their way. But I personally feel that it should not be at the cost of discomfort to other people. Of course, festivals are to be celebrated and should be celebrated but within the limits provided by the government. There is no meaning in enjoying a festival that disturbs those who are sick in the hospital. We need to be a little more sensitive towards our own people.
Tejal Panchal (17)
Celebrating festivals in a grand way or with DJs has become a trend now. It causes a lot of disturbance to people. I don’t oppose their celebration but the way some people do it is not right. People play loud music which causes disturbance to old people, small children and to students studying for their examinations. There is nothing wrong in celebrating festivals grandly but the loud music and occupation of roads is wrong. Celebrating festivals on roads causes inconvenience. Celebrations should not be stopped but whatever creates a disturbance to the citizens should be stopped.
Punitjoline Mane (16)
Novel International Junior College, Pune
India is a land full of traditions, festivals and various practices of worship. I personally feel that these cultural rights of Indians many a time tend to curb the other fundamental rights of the citizens. When these people carry out rallies, they end up blocking roads and causing traffic jams. Be it day or night, they make use of loudspeakers which pose a source of distraction for students studying and disturbance for senior citizens while sleeping. So, putting a ban on professing a religion at “any and every place” will by far be one of the right decisions taken by the Indian Government.
Himani Jain (16)
MGN UE2, Jalandhar
Keeping all the religious sentiments in my mind, religious festivals can’t take place anywhere and everywhere. Religious processions cause a lot of disturbance for those who aren’t a part of them, they cause delays for those who are in utmost urgency to reach somewhere. I am a Catholic and I’ve been a part of processions as well. Being a minority, I assumed, we have always been taunted or frowned upon but now I’m sure all of us have faced this situation and it does hurt us but we also need to keep in mind that not everyone is a part of our festivities. For them, we’re a hindrance to their daily routine. It’s undeniable that religious festivals should be celebrated with enthusiasm with each and every one but in a way, and in a place, where it doesn’t cause problems for others.
Agnes Thomas (18)
Hindu College, Delhi University