Auroville Case: Justice Chinnappa Reddy’s views on religion

S.P. Mittal Etc. Etc vs Union Of India And Others
1983 AIR, 1 1983 SCR (1) 729

CHINNAPPA REDDY, J.: Everyone has a religion, or at least, a view or a window on religion, be he a bigot or simple believer, philosopher or pedestrian, atheist or agnostic. Religion, like ‘democracy’ and ‘equality’ is an elusive expression, which everyone understands according to his preconceptions. What is religion to some is pure dogma to others and what is religion to others is pure superstition to some others. Karl Marx in his contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law described religion as the ‘Opium of the people’. He said further “Basically religion is a very convenient sanctuary for bourgeois thought to flee to in times of stress.” Bertrand Russell, in his essay ‘Why I am not Christian’, said, “Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear.” It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother, who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing – fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and, therefore, it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. As a worshipper at the altar of peace, I find it difficult to reconcile myself to religion, which throughout the ages, has justified war calling it a Dharma Yuddha, a Jehad or a Crusade. I believe that by getting mixed up with religion, ethics has lost much of its point, much of its purpose and a major portion of its spontaneity.


  1. Article by Justice Chinnapa ‘Auroville case’ I am unable to understand why the reference is made to Auroville?

  2. This para is taken from a dissenting judgement delivered in the case cited above (this case is famously referred to as the Auroville case)

  3. Reblogged this on Skylight.

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