The case of the priest, Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati who made the statements against Shirdi Sai stating that Sai Baba was not a God and that He should not be worshipped has had another development in the Supreme Court. The followers of Swaroopanand have now alleged that Sai Baba has no place in temples and have started to remove murthis – idols of Sri Sai Baba.
Mumbai-based Saidham Charitable Trust has filed legal assistance to facilitate that the central and Maharashtra governments to make any removal illegal of idols of Sri Sai Baba from any temple across India and that devotees are not interfered, obstructed or hindered from carrying out their worship.
However, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a public interest request for a direction to prevent removal of Sai Baba idols from Hindu temples across the country on Monday.
On June 23, Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati had aid that Sai Baba was not a God and hence should not be worshipped. Thereafter his followers alleged that Sai Baba had no place in Hindu temples.
A Bench of Justices T.S. Thakur, A.K. Goel and R. Banumathi dismissed the PIL filed by Mumbai-based Saidham Charitable Trust. Justice Thakur told the counsel for the petitioner “if anyone takes law into his hands there are remedies in law and you (petitioner) can approach the civil court for taking action against that person.”
The counsel submitted that following the Sankaracharya’s statement Sai Baba’s idols were removed in four temples.
He said the followers of Sankaracharya were inciting violence and wanted court to restrain the Centre and Maharashtra government to ensure that the idols of Sri Sai Baba were not illegally removed from any temple across the country and his devotees were not interfered, obstructed or hindered from worshiping.
Justice Thakur observed “what is this Hindu, Muslim? Hinduism is the way of life and this is not a matter to be managed by this court. If he (Sankaracharya) incites violence go to civil court.”
Of the eleven prayers made by the petitioner trust, one sought to restrain the media from telecasting, broadcasting and publishing anything that was insulting or defamatory to Sai Baba of Shirdi and hurts the sentiments of his devotees and a direction for restoration of Sai Baba’s idols from wherever they had been removed. After the observations of the bench, the petitioner withdrew his PIL.
Read more here about the Shankaracharya story that led to this event. –