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Use of “Gomatha” for beef preparation in cookery show likely to hurt religious feelings: Kerala HC passes strictures against Rehana Fathima [READ ORDER]

The use of the word “Gomatha” was ill-motivated and purposefully made. “Uploading of such a highly objectionable video for public viewing may affect the fundamental right of the devotees,” the court observed. The Court also ordered the removal of the video made by Fathima from social media titled “Gomatha Ularthu.”

By: Kanchan

Fathima had uploaded a video of a cookery show on social media captioned “Gomatha Ularthu” in which while narrating the recipe and preparation, she was seen repeatedly referring to the meat used as “Gomatha.” 

Use of the term “Gomatha” as a synonym for meat in a cookery show is likely to wound the religious feelings of lakhs of Hindus who worship cow as God, the Kerala High Court observed on Monday passing strictures against activist Rehana Fathima for the same. 

“There cannot be any dispute that the term “Gomatha” as is commonly understood is concerning holy or sacred cow. Scriptures quoted by the complainant show that since the Vedic period, a cow is revered as holy as deities, in India. 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 held.

A single-judge Bench of Justice Sunil Thomas held that this act of Fathima violated a bail condition imposed on her by the High Court in 2018 in another case relating to the publication of derogatory materials about Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala.

The complainant, in that case, filed the present application before Kerala High Court seeking recall of the order granting bail on the ground that the contentious video uploaded by her on social media violated the bail condition. It was contended by him that Fathima had repeatedly used the term “Gomatha” intentionally to hurt the religious feelings of Hindus who consider cow as sacred. 

The court agreed with the petitioner that the use of the word “Gomatha” was “ill-motivated and purposefully made.”

“Uploading of such a highly objectionable video for public viewing may affect the fundamental right of the devotees,” the court observed.

It said that there was sufficient reason to cancel the bail on this ground but refrained from resorting to such a step. Instead, it ordered Fathima not to use visual or electronic media to publish, share, transmit, or disseminate any material or comments.

In that case, the court had, while granting bail to Fathima, directed 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. 

The Court also ordered the removal of the video made by Fathima from social media titled “Gomatha Ularthu.”

The court further directed Fathima to report before the concerned jurisdictional police station every Monday and Saturday between 9 am and 10 am for 3 months. 


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