Thenkalai will be given the first row, Vadakalai the back row: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court on Tuesday said that devotees of the Thankalai community would have to line up the first two or three rows inside the Vardaraja Perumal temple in Kanchipuram and the Vadakalai community and general devotees would be allowed to sit behind them in the remaining available space.

At midnight on 14 May, Justice SM Subramaniam directed this effect while ordering a writ petition of S Narayanan challenging the notice issued by the Assistant Commissioner / Executive Trustee of the temple, which allowed the persons of ‘Thankalai’ alone. Read their essays and take part in the rituals / ceremonies of the ongoing temple Brahmotsavam festival. Thanklai and Vadakala are the Vaishnava community.

“Considering the information and the situation, this court is of the view that the religious rights of the devotees should be protected. Guarantees under the Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution for the conduct of ceremonies, ceremonies and worship, all of which are an integral part of religious practice, must be considered by the court, ”the judge said.

In the present case, the primitive right of the Thanklai community to chant primitive recitations and essays is not disputed by the Vadakalai community. Their request was that they be allowed to chant the initial ritual called Sri Ramanuja Dayapatharam and then, with the Thankalai community, be allowed to chant the essay, which would be more effective in performing the rituals in the temple. The Vadakalai community is ready and willing to cooperate for peaceful observance without affecting the rights of the Thankalai community.

“In this case, the court considers that both communities are expected to respect each other’s religious practices and feelings and the right to worship and the guarantees given under Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India,” the judge said.

The seating arrangements will be regulated by the temple’s assistant commissioner / executive trustee in a way that does not affect the discipline and decoration of the rituals and worship activities, the judge said.

The judge said that the initial recitation such as Sri Ramanuja Dayapatharam within 10 to 12 seconds and then, both the Thankalai and Vadakalai communities and the common devotees would be allowed to chant the Nalayira Divya essay in a uniform manner and without interrupting the Jado ritual. No inconvenience or inconvenience to other devotees and devotees present in the temple.

After the chanting of Nalaira Divya Prabandham by the Vadakalai community, the Thankalai community and the general devotees, the final ritual called Vajithirunam can be chanted first by Thankalai.

Thereafter, the Vadakalai community will be allowed to recite their closing mantra, i.e. “Desikan Bhaji Thirunam” and accordingly, the whole process of ritual will be completed.

The AC / ET will oversee the observance of the rituals of both the Thankalai and Vadakalai communities, and will take appropriate action in a manner known to the law, including punitive measures, for any breach of discipline and decorum.

The AC / ET will immediately implement the above measures and will videograph the incidents and present them before the court during the next hearing on May 25, the judge added.

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