“Every religion describes a way of life”: KTS Tulsi on Hindutva case

New Delhi [India], Oct. 26 : After the Supreme Court announced to continue its hearing on the Hindutva case, senior advocate KTS Tulsi today said if Hinduism is a way of life than why not other religions, adding religion and religious way of life can't be said to be two different things.

The senior advocate said every religion describes a way of life. "I don't understand how can we say that this is not an appeal in the name or religion. For example, in the case of Jagdeep Singh Siddhanti , the Supreme Court in 1964 held that when you unfurl a flag of om; it is a religious symbol.

The question is what would the common man perceive to be an appeal in the name or religion, to vote or not to vote," Tulsi told ANI.

"Similarly, the question is that if we want to ensure that the campaign remains secular then you have to grapple with this issue.

A larger bench is for the reason that religion and religious way of life prescribed by the religion can't be said to be two different things.

One is progeny of the other." He added. During the hearing by the seven judges' constitutional bench, the apex court on Tuesday said it won't reconsider 1995 judgment which defined Hindutva as "a way of life and not a religion." The observations came after an on interlocutory application filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad requested the bench to reconsider the 95 judgment.

A seven-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur, said the court will not go into the larger debate as to what is Hindutva or what its meaning is and will not reconsider the 1995 judgment.

The remarks were made by the bench when some advocates sought to intervene in the ongoing hearing which commenced last Tuesday.

Last week, Setalvad had sought the Supreme Court's intervention in the matter with an application stating that religion and politics should not be mixed and a direction be passed to delink religion from politics.

The apex court bench also comprised Justices M B Lokur, S A Bobde, A K Goel, U U Lalit, D Y Chandrachud and L Nageshwar Rao.

The apex court instead took up a separate plea filed in 1990 whether seeking of votes in the name of religion will amount to a corrupt practice under the Representation of the People Act warranting disqualification.

It may be recalled that the Bombay High Court had set aside the election of Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi in the mid-1990s.

The matter was then moved to Supreme Court, which in 1995 overturned the high court order saying Hindutva is a way of life.

Since then, the issue was raised in the top court many times, including in 2002 when the court referred the matter to a seven-judge bench for clarity.

Source: ANI