NGT does a U-turn on Amarnath mantra ban

Amid protests from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindu groups, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday issued a clarification on Amarnath matter which says it’s not declared a silent zone. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said due silence has to be maintained only in front of the ice stalagmite resembling the ‘Shiva Linga’. The directive is not applicable to any other part. A detailed order on the matter is still awaited. Environment activist Gauri Maulekhi, on whose plea the directions were passed, had welcomed the order and termed it “good and progressive”.

It is to be noted that NGT in a series of bans issued to Amarnath Shrine Board on Wednesday ordered for a ban on the chanting of mantras along the Amarnath Yatra route and ringing of bells at the cave shrine. VHP protested the ban and termed the order as a ‘Tughlaki fatwa’. It said Hindus were not responsible for every ecological problem on earth.  As soon as the news of the ban on the Hindu shrine was released people took to social media to express their wrath on NGT for interfering in their matters of faith. Here are some reactions that we came across on Twitter.

National Green Tribunal (NGT) is using ecology to attack Hindu gurus, temples and festivals. No government organization of this type exerts such control over the majority religion in any other country in the world! NGT is another anti-Hindu regulatory agency created by Congress and UPA rule. Time to remove it. –Dr David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri).

We have been getting frantic calls from the public regarding today’s NGT order on #Amarnath Yatra. I have spoken to the Chairperson of the Board, Governor Vohra about this. We will be convening an emergency meeting of Sri Amarnath ji Shrine board to discuss the same. — Sri Sri Ravi Shankar‏

Venerable NGT: how many poori-aalus is a pilgrim allowed per day? How much water to drink. Important, because effluent discharge is an environment issue in the Himalayas.
 –      Shekhar Gupta

I believe the NGT Chairman retires next week. Could we have someone who’s intelligent; unbiased and has the interests of the environment at heart and is not someone who believes is his business to see how people eat, pray and love? — Suhel Seth

#NGT’s order to ban chanting & ringing bells in #AmarnathShrine is overreach. More serious is daily nuisance of 5am loudspeaker #azaan which is illegal. Police must enforce the law. — Minhaz Merchant

What they really want to do is stop pilgrims from coming to Amarnath because it threatens local population there. Let me assure NGT that for hundreds of years this has been tried but no one has been successful. Yatra will never stop.
 #AmarnathYatrisMuted. — Sunanda Vashisht

In Kashmir some people don’t have any problem while chanting Anti-Indian slogans on streets then how came NGT directs Shrine board that there should be no chanting of ‘mantras’ or ‘jaykaras’ in Amarnath. As a Muslim I condemn it. — Ibne Sen

2day NGT bans Lord Shiva’s chanting at Amarnath shrine. What’s next to be banned? Jai Sri Krishna, Jai Shri Ram, Wahe Guru ka Khalsa-Wahe Guru ki Fateh or Jai Hind. R U serious? Go NGT ..take a chill pill & don’t U dare come b/w us n our spirituality!  नमः शिवाय.  — Maj Surendra Poonia