New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) has slammed the recent trend by some sections of the society to protest and demand the ban of films, books and painting on the ground that it hurt their religious sentiments.
The SC also made it clear that all Indians were entitled to go, work and settle in any part of the country.
"These days unfortunately some people seem to be perpetually on a short fuse and are willing to protest often violently about anything under the sun, on the ground that a book, painting, film has hurt sentiments of the community. These are dangerous tendencies and must be curbed with an iron hand. We are one nation and must respect each other and must have tolerance," the judgement said.
In an oblique reference to the rising trend of regionalism, it said, "India is not a confederation of states. There is only one nationality and that is Indian. Hence, every Indian has a right to go anywhere in India settle anywhere to work and do buisness of his choice peacefully," it said.
The SC referred to the Mughal Emperor Akbar who used to remain a vegetarian for a few days every week out of respect for the vegetarian section of the Indian society and for his Hindu wife.
The apex court said that the people, too, should have similar respect for the sentiments for others, even if they are a minority community.
The court made these observations while hearing a plea against a nine-day ban on slaughter imposed by the Gujarat government during Jain Paryusans.
Some persons engaged in the business of slaughter and sale of livestock challenged the restriction
"The architect of modern India was the great Mughal Emperor Akbar who gave equal respect to people of all communities and appointed them to the highest offices on their merits irrespective of their religion, caste, etc. If Emperor Akbar could forbid meat eating for six months in a year; is it unreasonable to abstain from meat for nine days in a year in Ahmedabad today?" the SC observed.
"As already stated above, it is a short restriction for a few days and surely the non- vegetarians can remain vegetarian for this short period. Also, the traders in meat of Ahmedabad will not suffer much merely because their business has been closed down for nine days in a year. There is no prohibition to their business for the remaining 356 days in a year. In a multi-cultural country like ours with such diversity, one should not be over sensitive and over touchy about a short restriction when it is being done out of respect for the sentiments of a particular section of society. It has been stated above that the great Emperor Akbar himself used to remain a vegetarian for a few days every week out of respect for the vegetarian section of the Indian society and out of respect for his Hindu wife. We too should have similar respect for the sentiments for others, even if they are a minority sect," the judgement said