MADURAI: In a case related to the restriction over the entry of people belonging to a particular community into a temple for more than 100 years, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court observed that the God was common for all and worship cannot be restricted based on community and temple festivals should not be a trigger for clash among people.
The court further directed the Devakottai RDO to convene a peace meeting and said, “If any decision is taken in the peace committee meeting, both the parties are directed to abide by that and if there is no consensus, there should not be any celebrations in the temple,” the Judge held.
According to Kalimuthu, the petitioner from Melachemponmari in Sivaganga district, locals used to worship the village deity Pottal Kaliamman in the Tamil month of Panguni as part of ‘Pongal Padyal’ festival.
The petitioner submitted that a group in his village, led by one Arumugam, prevented him from participating in the celebration and hence sought police protection.
When the case came up before Justice N Kirubakaran, petitioner’s counsel Arun Swaminathan contended that though Kalimuthu and the opponent group belonged to the Mutharayar community, the petitioner sought to allow members of all communities to worship and participate in the village temple festival. This created enmity between the petitioner and the opponent group. So, Kalimuthu faces threat from the other group, the counsel contended.
Amid these developments, Arumugam filed an intervention petition and stated that the temple belonged to Mutharayar community and even the ‘Panguni Padayal’ is restricted to male members of the said community only.
Submitting that it was a 100-year practice, the counsel said that his client wanted all communities to be allowed along with him to worship and take part in the padayal.
Hearing it, Justice Kirubakaran directed the Devakottai RDO to convene a peace meeting on August 18, by issuing notice to the two sides and to take a decision.