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Bhagvad Geeta be made national 'dharma shastra': HC !


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Bhagvad Geeta be made national 'dharma shastra': HC

Allahabad, Sep 10 (PTI) : In a judgement that may ruffle many feathers, the Allahabad High Court has said that Bhagvad Geeta should be made the national 'dharma shastra' of the country and it should be considered a fundamental duty of all citizens to follow the 'dharma' as propounded by it.

"As India has recognised its national flag, national anthem, national bird, national animal and national flower, Bhagvad Geeta may be considered as national (rashtriya) dharma shastra," Justice S N Srivastava has observed.

In an order dated August 30, he said the Bhagvad Geeta had greatly inspired those involved in the freedom struggle and continues to inspire people from all walks of life.

"Hence, it is the duty of every citizen of India under Article 51-A of the Constitution of India, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, to follow dharma as propounded by the Geeta," he said.

The observation came while hearing a petition filed by Shyamal Ranjan Mukherji, a priest of Gopal Thakur Mandir in Varanasi, who had moved the court challenging the sale of the properties of the temple by his brother.

Significantly, a flutter was caused by another order passed by Justice Srivastava on April 5 this year, in which he had ruled that Muslims were not a minority group in Uttar Pradesh and hence educational institutions run by them were not entitled for benefits enjoyed by minority institutions.

The order was, however, stayed the very next day by a division bench of the High Court.

It was argued on behalf of the state government before the division bench, that "the question of minority status for Muslims was neither before the single judge nor any relief was sought on the basis thereof. It was, therefore, not necessary to adjudicate on the issue".

Justice Srivastava had retired on September 4 last, five days after passing the latest order.

source: http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_print.asp?id=502754

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Bhagwad Gita, the nationa 'dharama shastra'?

NEW DELHI, SEP 11 (PTI)

The Allahabad High Court's observations that Bhagvad Gita should be made the national 'dharma shastra' today evoked strong reactions from Government which said the remarks should be ignored and scriptures of all religions should be respected.

Legal experts also came out against the observations of Justice S N Srivastava in an August 30 judgement that Gita should be made the national 'dharma shastra'.

Law Minister H R Bhardwaj asked: "For Muslims, it is the Quran and the Christians have the Bible. Every religion has its own dharma shastra, so how can we say it (Geeta) is for the entire nation?".

"We have to respect the scriptures of other religions. Therefore, the observation needs to be ignored. It does not apply to everybody," he said.

"No judge can think like this, that there should be no freedom of religion or conscience," Bhardwaj said.

In Lucknow, Member of Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Khalid Rashid said "we and our religious leaders are also shocked at this Constitutional expert's judgment".

Noted media personality Sayeed Naqvi said "Bhagvad Geeta is a part of our culture and they are trying to make it a religious text".

Former Chief Justice of India V N Khare said "it is a personal view which you (the judge) cannot impose in a judgement". "What he (the judge) says is not Constitutional," he added.

A leader of the saffron brigade, B P Singhal, came to the rescue of Justice Srivastava and said the remarks were "not made as a Hindu but as a judge, he has justice in his mind".

Justice Srivastava's observation on Gita were made while hearing a petition filed by a priest of Varanasi temple over a dispute involving a temple property.

He had said the Gita had greatly inspired those involved in the freedom struggle and continues to inspire people from all walks of life.

"Hence, it is the duty of every citizen of India under Article 51-A of the Constitution of India, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, to follow dharma as propounded by the Geeta," he said.

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