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SC declines petition to allow Muharram processions around India

On Thursday, the Supreme Court declines permission to allow Muharram processions around the sub-continent. It heard a petition from Syed Kalbe Jawad from Uttar Pradesh, who stated that it would be unfair to the Muslim community since the Rath Yatra festival was permitted to take place in Odisha amongst the COVID-19 situation.

Chief Justice SA Bobde stated that if the procession was allowed, then there would be utter chaos and a single community would be blamed for spreading the virus. Now this isn’t wrong as such, considering the Tablighi Jamaat incident in Delhi, but it does prove to be morally wrong on many other levels. The Hindus celebrating the Rath Yathra festival might as well have been potential carriers of the virus, but no one really took notice of that. However, any festival or anything done by people of the Muslim community is considered to be against the nation and they’ve been slapped with the spreading the virus on purpose multiple times.

What we’re trying to make clear, and what the nation asks for is equality and justice. If one community isn’t allowed to celebrate a festival citing health concerns, then other communities shouldn’t be either, irrespective of which communities all of them are. In depth, this is what secularism comes to. It isn’t just a word in our constitution, its a basic principle we as humans and citizens should follow.

But again, we must notice that the jury did say that if the procession was restricted to one state or one part of the country, they might have ‘assessed’ the risks associated with it, and then come to a collective decision. The petitioner then asked for conducting a procession in Lucknow, the heart of Uttar Pradesh, where most of the Shia Muslims lived. He was then asked to go to the Allahabad High Court, as it fell under their jurisdiction. Further updates are yet to be released, but we hope the right decision is made. It is quite a tough time though, what with India crossing the 3 million mark just a few days back; we only wish that a decision is made, taking the entirety of India into consideration.

Reporter: Kruthika Senthil Kumar

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