Bengaluru: As defence minister Rajnath Singh performed Shastra Puja to the first Rafale jet he received in France, the argy-bargies over the performance of Hindu rituals, using lemons and coconut have hit the skies. 

While the liberals argue that the taxes used to procure defence equipment are paid by everyone across religions, and that Hindu traditions should not be given priority, here is an interesting judgement from the Madras High Court on the celebration of Ayudha puja in government offices. 

In the Madras high court, a division bench of justice R Sudhakar and justice Aruna Jagadeesan had held that conducting Ayudha Puja or Saraswathi Puja in government offices is not a non-secular activity. Dismissing a public interest writ petition, which sought a direction to the government to prohibit all sorts of religious activities within the precincts of government offices, the bench said that an individual showing respect to his occupational tools cannot be said to offend the secular nature of the state. Justice Sudhakar, who wrote the judgment for the bench, observed that showing respect to the place of work and the objects of work will in no way offend the feelings of others or affect secularism. He had added that Ayudha Puja is referable to prayer, reverence or respect given to objects through which an individual performs his profession or occupation.

India has placed an order for procuring 36 Rafale jets from France. The one that Defence minister received was the first jet. The remaining will be handed over in the next few months. The aircraft will be inducted into the IAF in May next. 

As per Hindu faith, on the day of Navami during Dussehra, vehicles and other tools are worshipped with flowers. Arati is also performed as a mark of veneration. 

It is believed that on the day of Vijaya Dashami, Arjuna, the third sibling among Pandavas retrieved his weapons which he had hidden under a Shami tree, before he left for his exile for 14 years.