Tamil Nadu: Madras High Court Sees Annamalai’s ‘Divisive Intent’ To Project As If Christian NGO Acted Against Hindu Culture

Tamil Nadu: Madras High Court Sees Annamalai’s ‘Divisive Intent’ To Project As If Christian NGO Acted Against Hindu Culture

The high court dismissed his petition to quash criminal proceedings in a case filed by an activist against him.

N ChithraUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 09:16 PM IST
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Madras High Court | PTI

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Thursday saw a “divisive” intent by BJP Tamil Nadu president K Annamalai “to project as if a Christian NGO is acting against Hindu culture”. It dismissed his petition to quash criminal proceedings in a case filed by an activist against him.

“If religion becomes a bellicose jingoism, it can prove fatal to the secular fabric of this country,” Justice Anand Venkatesh observed dismissing the petition to quash proceedings against Annamalai for having claimed that Christian missionary NGO had filed the first case in the Supreme Court against bursting of crackers. He made the claim in an interview to a YouTube channel two days before Deepavali festival in 2022.

An activist Piyush Manush had initiated proceedings against Annamalai at a local court for seeking to give a communal twist to the issue when the fact was that the minor son of a lawyer was the first to have petitioned the Supreme Court seeking curbs on bursting of crackers during Deepavali and not a Christian NGO.

The judge noted that the intent behind Annamalai’s statement could be gathered from the fact that the BJP Tamil Nadu’s official X handle had posted the particular portion of the interview in which he accused a Christian NGO of filing the petition against bursting of crackers.

“The content of the above message is that there is a Christian Missionary NGO, which is internationally funded, and is involved in completely destroying Hindu culture by filing cases in the Supreme Court and by preventing Hindus from bursting crackers,” the judge said.

The court pointed out that “the psychological impact of a statement made by a popular leader must not be merely confined by testing it only to immediate physical harm.” On the other hand, it was the duty of the court to see if it has caused a “silent harm” in the psyche of the targeted group, which, at a later point of time, “will have their desired effect in terms of violence or even resulting in genocide.”

Citing how Adolf Hitler’s speeches had incited the genocide against the Jews, the judge said, “If the purpose of religion is not understood, it can take away the sense of neutrality and ability to think in terms of rationality and individuality.” That is why Karl Marx had sarcastically said “religion is the opium of the people.”

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