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The ongoing debate surrounding the comments made by DMK minister Udhayanidhi Stalin and their relation to Sanatana Dharma has recently been brought to the attention of the Madras High Court. In response to this issue, Single-judge Justice N Seshasayee has expressed concern about the notion that Sanatana Dharma promotes casteism and untouchability. The judge clarified that Sanatana Dharma is a set of eternal duties towards one’s nation, parents, and Gurus and that untouchability cannot be tolerated, even if it is permitted within the principles of Sanatana Dharma. 

Furthermore, the Court addressed a petition filed by Elangovan, which challenged a circular issued by a local government Arts College. This circular had requested that students share their thoughts on the topic of ‘Opposition to Sanadhana’ on the birth anniversary of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK party founder CN Annadurai. The Court disposed of the plea, noting that the circular had already been withdrawn. However, the Court encouraged the college to require students to reflect on the topic while keeping in mind the reasonable restrictions on free speech under Article 19(2) of the Constitution. 

In emphasizing the importance of healthy public debates, the Court also underscored the need for an uncompromising abidance to the values and ethos of the Constitution. By doing so, the Court has set an important precedent for how discussions surrounding sensitive topics such as religion and caste should be approached in the public sphere.

Written by B.  Krishna nikhitha of KL University Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh  ( 5th semester )an intern under Legal Vidhiya


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