Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Kerala High Court irked by the use of the word Gomatha as a synonym for meat used in a cookery show

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Use of the word Gomatha as a synonym for meat used in a cookery show, is likely to wound the religious feelingsKerala High Court

New Delhi (ILNS): The Kerala High Court ruled that use of the term ‘Gomatha’ as a synonym for meat in cookery show is likely to hurt the religious feelings of Hindus who worship cow as God.

A video of a cookery show was uploaded on social media with the caption ‘Gomatha Ularthu’ by Fathima, wherein, while narrating the recipe and preparation, the lady was seen repeatedly referring to the meat used as ‘Gomatha.’

While hearing the case, Justice Sunil Thomas held that Fathima’s act was in violation of a bail condition imposed on her by the high court in the year 2018 in another case relating to publication of derogatory materials about Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala.

In the earlier case while granting bail to Fathima, the court had directed her that she should not through print, electronic or visual media make, disseminate, share or forward any comment which has the propensity to affect religious sentiments of any community.

An application was filed in the present case before the Kerala High Court seeking recall of the earlier order granting bail on the ground that the contentious video uploaded by her on social media was in violation of the bail condition. The complainant argued Fathima had repeatedly used the term ‘Gomatha’ intentionally to hurt the religious feelings of Hindus who consider cow as sacred.

The court said: “…If it is so believed by several lakhs of Hindus throughout the country, definitely, the use of the term Gomatha as a synonym for meat used in a cookery show, prima facie, is likely to wound the religious feelings of those believers.” 

The court, while agreeing with the petitioner that the use of the word ‘Gomatha’ was “ill-motivated and purposefully made,” said: “Uploading of such a highly objectionable video for public viewing may affect the fundamental right of the devotees.”

The single judge bench while ordering the removal of the video titled ‘Gomatha Ularthu’ from social media directed Fathima to report before the concerned jurisdictional police station every Mondays and Saturdays between 9 am and 10 am for a period of 3 months.

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