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Religious beliefs protect nature, Madras High Court



Opposing nature worship in the guise of rationality is a reason for environmental destruction’
The Madras High Court has said opposition to worshipping of Panchabootham (five elements of nature), in the guise of promoting rationality, is a reason for environmental degradation. He said that religious beliefs are protective of human civilisation and the environment.
Justice S. Vaidyanathan said: “Our tradition and values, passed down to us from our ancestors, are not wrong beliefs. They are scientific, rational and logical. That is why they worshipped nature. Even now, many of them who follow our ancestral beliefs continue to do so as they have got abundant sanctity.”
‘Not irrational’
Referring to people worshipping soil, fire, water, space and air, the judge said: “It is not at all irrational. When nature gets the sanctity, it will not be ruined... Thus, nature was protected in those days. However, in the name of rationality, religious taboos were violated, the result of which we suffer these days.”
The observations were made while disposing of a writ petition filed by Vanitha Manickavasagam, owner of a commercial building on Anna Salai here.
The petitioner had accused the Chennai Corporation of not properly maintaining about 100 square meters of land she handed over towards Open Space Reservation Area.
Pointing out that the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority would accord building plan permission for construction only if a land owner surrenders 10% of the property over and above 3,000 square metres, the petitioner said such OSR area should be used for recreational purposes.
However, the land gifted by her was left uncared for, she said.
Her tenants, including reputed multinational companies, were complaining about the odour that emanated from the rubbish and flies and mosquitoes that swarmed the OSR area.
Though she produced photographs to substantiate her claim, the Corporation disputed the claim and produced another set of photographs to prove that the place was being maintained. Not willing to buy the civic body’s argument, the judge said that it appeared to have cleaned it only after the filing of the present case. He later gave liberty to the petitioner to maintain the OSR area by planting shrubs and recorded the Corporation’s submission that it was agreeable for such an arrangement.


Opposing nature worship in the guise of rationality is a reason for environmental destruction’
The Madras High Court has said opposition to worshipping of Panchabootham (five elements of nature), in the guise of promoting rationality, is a reason for environmental degradation. He said that religious beliefs are protective of human civilisation and the environment.
Justice S. Vaidyanathan said: “Our tradition and values, passed down to us from our ancestors, are not wrong beliefs. They are scientific, rational and logical. That is why they worshipped nature. Even now, many of them who follow our ancestral beliefs continue to do so as they have got abundant sanctity.”
‘Not irrational’
Referring to people worshipping soil, fire, water, space and air, the judge said: “It is not at all irrational. When nature gets the sanctity, it will not be ruined... Thus, nature was protected in those days. However, in the name of rationality, religious taboos were violated, the result of which we suffer these days.”
The observations were made while disposing of a writ petition filed by Vanitha Manickavasagam, owner of a commercial building on Anna Salai here.
The petitioner had accused the Chennai Corporation of not properly maintaining about 100 square meters of land she handed over towards Open Space Reservation Area.
Pointing out that the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority would accord building plan permission for construction only if a land owner surrenders 10% of the property over and above 3,000 square metres, the petitioner said such OSR area should be used for recreational purposes.
However, the land gifted by her was left uncared for, she said.
Her tenants, including reputed multinational companies, were complaining about the odour that emanated from the rubbish and flies and mosquitoes that swarmed the OSR area.
Though she produced photographs to substantiate her claim, the Corporation disputed the claim and produced another set of photographs to prove that the place was being maintained. Not willing to buy the civic body’s argument, the judge said that it appeared to have cleaned it only after the filing of the present case. He later gave liberty to the petitioner to maintain the OSR area by planting shrubs and recorded the Corporation’s submission that it was agreeable for such an arrangement.
(Source: The Hindu)

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