The Andhra Pradesh High Court directed the state government to stop funding religious pilgrimages. This was the judgement in two Public Interest Litigations filed against the Andhra Pradesh government's decision to fund pilgrimages of Christians to Bethlehem and other religious places. This judgement apparently also covers the subsidy to Haj pilgrimages.
This judgement must be welcomed by all.
What business does the government have funding religious pilgrimages? Isn't this a blatant example of minority appeasement by the politicians of the country? Why are only Muslim and Christian pilgrimages subsidized? Now, I am not, for a moment, suggesting funding Hindu pilgrimages at all. No religious pilgrimages must be funded by the state. Period.
Clearly, the government has got its priorities all wrong. Every year around Rs. 400 crore is spent on the Haj subsidy. Add to this the amount proposed to be spent on the Christian pilgrimage subsidy. Just imagine how much can be done with this money!
I did a quick calculation and realized that a shocking 28,000 people can be given free dialysis for a year at a corporate hospital in India with that money!!!
This is just one example. But it goes to show how wasteful that expenditure is. What has the government got to do with religion? Especially when we claim that we are a secular nation.
The judiciary has once again proved that it is capable of rational thinking. The judges must be complimented for this. I suspect, however, that the government will find a way to wriggle out of the embarrassing situation it finds itself in. But these kinds of judgements are welcome. Hats off, Justices!