By Anoushka dey (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Anoushka dey (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A summons has been issued to Hindu God Lord Hanuman to appear in an Indian court.

A lower court in the eastern India state of Bihar has issued summons to a Hindu deity, Lord Hanuman, which ordered him to appear in court. This case is linked to an illegal roadside Hanuman temple in Rohtas district. The sub-divisional magistrate has ordered the God to give an appearance in court post his hearing an encroachment complaint. The complaint was filed by Public Works Department.

The order issued by the court was subsequently pasted on the Lord Hanuman idol at the Dehri on Sone Temple by district officials. In its complaint, the department has asked the intervention of the court to remove this “Panchmukhi” Hanuman temple due to obstruction of traffic movement.

Right wing Hindu groups like Bajrang Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have made their opposition to this structure known. They have demanded that this order be withdrawn.

Similar cases were filed against other Hindu gods by humans. In early February, a complaint was lodged by the lawyer in Sitamarhi district of Bihar, against the Lord Rama, along with Lakshman, his brother. This petition wanted to register a case against those two brothers for forcing Sita into exile sans any proper justification. This particular case was thrown out of court by Rash Behari, the Chief Judicial Magistrate. He said that this case cannot be maintained and also it was beyond facts and logic.

In another but related case, an encroachment notice was issued by a district official against a “Bajrang Bali.” This was in relation to a temple being constructed in the roadside. The temple was being constructed to honor the god at Lohia Nagar in Begusarai district. The authorities were forced to cancel the notice after Bajrang Dal workers vehemently protested against the order.

Bringing gods into the level of humans is not new in India. In 2014, an Aadhar Card, a kind of national level identity proof, was issued to Lord Hanuman in Rajasthan.

Hanuman or Bajrang Bali is a god in the Hindu pantheon. He is a devotee of Lord Rama. Hanuman is an important character in Ramayana- the Hindu epic- in all its versions. This god was mentioned in a number of other texts, including the Mahabharata and the Puranas. It also finds mention in a number of Jain texts. Hanuman helped Lord Rama in the latter's war against Ravana, the demon king. A number of religious texts show him as a Shiva incarnation.

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