[GHHF] Advocacy efforts to preserve secular fabric in Bharat by GHHF are acknowledged in the article “Upholding Secularism: SC’s Verdict and Advocacy Efforts.”

21 Apr 2024 201 Views

Akanksha Bhardwaj

https://medium.com/@akawrites124/upholding-secularism-scs-verdict-and-advocacy-efforts-fb70b4df3623

Mar 9, 2024

In recent times, the intersection of religious practices and legal frameworks has garnered increased attention and sparked debates within the Indian society. This heightened scrutiny has been particularly evident in the wake of a significant ruling by the Supreme Court that unequivocally prohibits the use of unauthorized religious structures on public land for preaching religion.

Ordering the removal of a mosque that was illegally constructed on public land in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai, a bench of justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan recalled a spree of top court orders in the past, fastening a duty on states and high courts to make sure no unauthorised constructions are allowed in the name of temple, church, mosque or gurudwara, on public streets or other public places.

This landmark judgment signifies a pivotal development in India’s legal landscape, underlining not only the fundamental principle of secularism but also emphasizing the critical role of adherence to legal norms in matters pertaining to religious expression. The Supreme Court’s statement reflects a profound understanding of the complex dynamics surrounding religious expression and legal frameworks. It highlights the inherent contradiction posed by the use of unauthorized structures for religious preaching, emphasizing the importance of adherence to legal norms in matters pertaining to religious activities.

At its core, the SC’s stance reaffirms the fundamental principle of secularism enshrined in the Indian Constitution. By asserting that illegally built structures are not conducive to the propagation of religion, the Court reinforces the secular nature of public institutions and spaces. This assertion sends a clear message that religious expression must be conducted within the bounds of legality and respect for the rule of law.

Moreover, the SC’s statement underscores the imperative of respecting and abiding by legal regulations governing religious practices. It highlights the significance of upholding the rule of law in preserving public areas from encroachment and ensuring that religious activities are conducted in accordance with legal norms. This acknowledgment of the importance of legal integrity in matters of religious expression reaffirms the Court’s commitment to safeguarding the secular fabric of Indian society.

The statement also holds broader implications for the rights and responsibilities of citizens and religious organizations. It underscores the need for proactive measures to prevent the unauthorized construction of religious structures on public land. By reiterating that such structures are not suitable for preaching religion, the Supreme Court reaffirms the rights of all citizens to access public spaces without discrimination or obstruction. It underscores the importance of respecting and abiding by legal norms in matters of religious expression and serves as a reminder of the critical role of the judiciary in safeguarding the rule of law.

The SC’s firm stance on the issue, as encapsulated in the statement, “Illegally built structures can’t be the right place to preach religion”, validates the persistent efforts of various organizations working towards safeguarding the sanctity of public spaces. These organizations have long been vocal about the detrimental impact of unauthorized constructions and their exploitation for religious activities. The Court’s pronouncement lends significant weight to the importance of respecting and abiding by legal regulations concerning religious practices, thereby reinforcing the significance of the collective endeavoursaimed at upholding the rule of law, preserving public areas from encroachment and ensuring that religious activities are conducted within the ambit of legality.

Among the notable organizations championing these causes is the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF), which has been actively engaged in advocating for the protection of sacred sites and combating the proliferation of illegal religious structures. GHHF’s proactive stance in addressing the issue of unauthorized churches in the Tirupati region is in perfect alignment with the principles reflected in the Court’s ruling. By urging authorities to investigate and take decisive actions against encroachments, GHHF has played a pivotal role in preserving the sanctity of public land and thwarting attempts to misuse these spaces for religious propagation, thereby underlining the importance of upholding legal standards and guidelines in matters of religious expression.

The SC’s verdict is a resounding validation of the longstanding concerns voiced by GHHF and other advocacy groups regarding the rampant growth of unauthorized religious edifices, particularly those erected without legal authorization on government and temple lands. By reiterating that such structures are outlawed for preaching religion, the Court re-emphasizes the imperative of strict compliance with the legal framework governing the use of public spaces. This ruling not only bolsters the rule of law but also conveys a clear message that the secular nature of public institutions and spaces must be respected by all individuals.

Moreover, the Court’s pronouncement serves as a clarion call for concerted actions to tackle the pervasive issue of unauthorized religious constructions across the nation. It underscores the urgent need for proactive measures to prevent encroachments on public land and uphold the rights of all citizens to access these spaces without any form of discrimination. The unwavering advocacy efforts of GHHF in this regard epitomize a commitment to upholding the tenets of secularism and ensuring that the rights of all religious communities are unequivocally respected in the public sphere.

The ruling also underscores the broader implications of illegal religious structures on public land, beyond the immediate concerns raised by GHHF. It serves as a clarion call for concerted efforts to address the pervasive issue of unauthorized constructions across the nation. By emphasizing the need for adherence to legal norms in matters of religious expression, the Court’s decision reinforces the secular fabric of Indian society.

In summary, the SC’s ruling pertaining to unauthorized religious structures on public land and its validation of the advocacy campaigns spearheaded by organizations like GHHF, reinforces the paramount importance of adhering to legal norms in the realm of religious expression. By aligning their efforts with the Court’s directives and promoting legal conformity, these organizations play a crucial role in safeguarding secular principles and preserving public spaces for the common benefit of all citizens. This ruling not only elucidates the legal landscape but also fortifies the principles of equality and secularism enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Moreover, it serves as a testament to the importance of upholding legal integrity and ensuring that the rights of all religious communities are respected in the public sphere.

In a world where religious convictions frequently converge with legal constraints, the debate between adhering to the law versus engaging in illegal or immoral acts becomes increasingly relevant. While some may argue for the autonomy of religious practices, it is crucial to recognize the profound benefits that come from standing on the side of legality and morality. By upholding the rule of law, all religions can thrive in a society that values integrity, fairness and respect for the rights of all individuals.

First and foremost, standing with the legal side ensures the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms for all members of society, regardless of their religious beliefs. The law provides a framework within which individuals can peacefully practice their religion while also respecting the rights of others. By adhering to legal norms, religious communities can avoid conflicts and uphold the principles of tolerance and coexistence.

Moreover, standing with the legal side promotes accountability and transparency within religious institutions. Legal regulations often require religious organizations to operate in a manner that is accountable to their members and the broader community. By complying with legal requirements, religious leaders and institutions demonstrate their commitment to ethical conduct and responsible governance, thereby fostering trust and credibility among their followers.

Additionally, standing with the legal side helps to protect the integrity of religious practices and beliefs. Illegal or immoral acts conducted in the name of religion can tarnish the reputation of entire religious communities and undermine the legitimacy of their teachings. By adhering to legal standards, religious leaders and practitioners uphold the dignity and sanctity of their faith, ensuring that it is not misrepresented or misused for personal gain or nefarious purposes.

In addition, standing with the legal side not only ensures adherence to established laws but also fosters social cohesion and harmony within diverse societies. Legal frameworks serve as a cornerstone for maintaining order by providing a common set of rules and guidelines that govern the behaviour of individuals and institutions, irrespective of their religious affiliations.

Respecting these laws not only demonstrate a commitment to the principles of justice and fairness but also cultivates an environment where religious communities actively contribute to the overall stability and well-being of society. By upholding legal norms, religious groups play a pivotal role in fostering a sense of unity and cooperation among people from varied faiths and backgrounds.

In essence, adherence to legal standards serves as a unifying force that transcends religious boundaries, promoting inclusivity and mutual respect among members of society. Through their compliance with legal regulations, religious communities contribute to the creation of a harmonious social fabric where individuals can coexist peacefully, despite their diverse religious beliefs and practices. Thus, standing with the legal side not only upholds the principles of justice but also reinforces the bonds of solidarity that underpin diverse and inclusive societies.

It is also important to recognize that standing with the legal side fosters positive relationships between religious communities and the broader society. By demonstrating a commitment to legality and morality, religious organizations can earn the respect and support of government authorities, civil society organizations and the general public. This, in turn, can lead to increased opportunities for collaboration, dialogue and mutual understanding, ultimately benefiting all members of society.

In conclusion, standing with the legal side is essential for the well-being and prosperity of all religions. By upholding the rule of law, religious communities can protect fundamental rights, promote accountability and transparency, safeguard the integrity of their beliefs, foster social cohesion and build positive relationships with the broader society. In a world where religious freedom and pluralism are valued, adherence to legal norms ensures that all individuals can practice their faith in a manner that respects the rights and freedoms of others, ultimately contributing to a more just, equitable and harmonious society.

Illegally built structures can't be right place to preach religion: SC

Unauthorised religious structures on public land can never be a venue for preaching religion, the Supreme Court…

www.hindustantimes.com

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Illegally built structures can't be right place to preach religion: SC

Unauthorised religious structures on public land can never be a venue for preaching religion, the Supreme Court…

www.hindustantimes.com

 

#Secularism #respectforall #illegalstructures #SCverdict #equalityaboveall #GHHF #Globalhinduheritagefoundation

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