oppn parties Law Versus Faith, Tradition and Custom

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Law Versus Faith, Tradition and Custom

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-10-29 12:22:56

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
BJP President Amit Shah is doing the wrong thing by encouraging the so-called devotees at Sabarimala to break the law and not allow the Kerala government to implement the Supreme Court order allowing entry of females aged between 10 to 50 years inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. He is of the opinion that courts should “respect” people’s “faith” and not give orders that cannot be “implemented”. His “rock solid support” for something illegal (as the stopping of women is after the SC order) displays a high degree of arrogance and a complete disrespect for the judiciary and rule of law.

Actually, there are no court orders that cannot be implemented. For politicians, there are only two kinds of court orders – one that is in their favour or to their liking and the other that goes against them or is not to their liking. They will become profuse in ‘respecting’ the judiciary once the order is in their favour and will move heaven and earth to implement it. But if the order is against them or lot to their liking, they will criticize the judiciary and cite law and order problems to say that the order cannot be implemented.

The Supreme Court has time and again reiterated that if the tradition, custom or faith of any religion clashes with the rights granted to the individual under the Constitution or any act in force, courts will always rule by interpreting the law and not give primacy to the religious practices. The courts have given several orders, including allowing women in Hazi Ali dargah and the practice of triple talaq, which went against tradition or faith but upheld the rights of the individual as enshrined in the Constitution. At that time, the government called it progressive. How then is Sabarimala different?

Amit Shah is playing a dangerous game for getting a foothold in Kerala. He is enticing Hindutva activists to actively oppose the SC orders and create problems for the Left-front government. He is shredding the fabric of social peace and harmony for short-term political gains. If he thinks that Sabarimala can be developed into another tool to consolidate Hindu votes he is sadly mistaken. For, women devotees driven by faith may voluntarily decide not to enter the temple. But if they are stopped by force, then the BJP risks losing the votes of women across the country as it will be seen as forced gender discrimination by Hindutva elements.