It was the year 1976, a period of emergency imposed by then PM of India, Indira Gandhi. She enacted the 42nd amendment and the spirit of secularism which was always part and parcel of the Constitution was formally inserted into its body. Secularism, which broadly has been part of Indian culture and society since ancient times became somewhat controversial too.
In this modern age of the connected world, societies look for equivalence whether right or wrong. The same applies to a Ranchi Court on Tuesday where disctrict judge Manish Sing ordered a student to distribute the Quran, the holy book of Islam as one of the bail conditions.
The student named Richa Bharti was arrested on July 12 for allegedly sharing objectionable post against a community in connection with the lynching of Tabrez Ansari.
She was produced before the Ranchi magistrate court on 17th July where judge Manish Singh granted her bail on the surety of Rs 14,000, while this could have been an ordinary bail condition he further deemed it suitable to order her to distribute five copies of the Quran to various organizations.
Richa however, is refusing to distribute the religious text of Islam.
“I have only shared the Facebook post. The person who posted it should have been arrested first. I will appeal against the court order in the high court. Today I have been asked to distribute the Quran and tomorrow I may be asked to accept Islam,” she told reporters.
As per the reports, a member of Sadar Anjuman Committee (SAC) had filed a complaint against Bharti on July 12 at Pithoria police station. In the FIR, the SAC member had alleged that Bharti had posted a highly inflammatory post against Islam on Facebook, which could affect the communal harmony of the society.
Protests over the court order
Bharti was soon arrested and produced before the Ranchi court. Now after the court order of distributing Quran as a bail condition several people have come out in her support. One of the major contentions has been the equivalence, will a Muslim ever agree to chant ‘Hanuman Chalisa’. Moreover, what would have the reaction had a court given such verdict?
Meanwhile, several Hindu organisations expressed objection after Bharti’s arrest, with some even taking out protest marches.
Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy also jumped into the matter and said that he had asked Jharkhand Minister Saryu Rai to look into the case.
“I have requested my friend and Minister in Jharkhand Govt Shri Saryu Rai to look into it. Ask this brave girl to meet him,” the firebrand BJP leader had said in response to a user urging him to help the girl.