Char Dham Rituals Livestreaming: India A Democratic Country Ruled By Law Not Shastras, Says Uttarakhand HC

Char Dham Rituals Livestreaming: India A Democratic Country Ruled By Law Not Shastras, Says Uttarakhand HC(Clockwise from top-left): Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. 

Taking exception to the submission by Uttarakhand's Advocate General (AG) that 'Shastras' might not permit livestreaming of the rituals in the holy Char Dham, the state's High Court on Wednesday (8 July) said that India is a democratic country ruled by the law and not by 'Shastras', reports Times of India.

The development comes days after the Uttarakhand High Court had put a stay on the Char Dham yatra and asked for the rituals to be livestreamed.

The bench of Chief Justice R S Chauhan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma asked AG S N Babulkar to show provisions in the IT Act that bar livestreaming from temple.

The AG said that Devasthanam board, which manages the temples in the state, will take a decision on allowing livestreaming. He, however, cited Char Dham priests to add that Hindu Shastras do not permit livestreaming of rituals.

According to the ToI report, the Court reacted sharply to the AG's submission and said, “…Shastras do not control this country, what controls this country and guides us for our future is the Constitution of India and that’s where we stop. We cannot go beyond the constitution and the laws thereunder… We are a democratic country ruled by rule of law. We are not a democratic country ruled by the rule of shastras.”

Reportedly, AG had made similar submission in the last hearing too, to which the Court responded by saying that since our ancestors were not even aware of development of a technology which would allow livestreaming, the possibility of “shastras prohibiting livestreaming of a religious ceremony is absolutely impossible”.

Further, in the Wednesday (7 July) hearing, the HC Chief Justice added that he has read the shastras and nowhere do they prohibit such a technology.

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