Sending a strong message to Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his nephew Raj Thackeray for their anti-North Indian venom, the Supreme Court on Friday asserted that every Indian has a Constitutional right to settle anywhere in the country.
The apex court also expressed anguish at the increasing tendency of some sections to indulge in violent protests against films, books or paintings which it said should be curbed with an iron hand.
"India is not an association of confederation of States, it is a union of State and there is only one nationality that is Indian. Hence every Indian has a right to go anywhere in India, to settle anywhere, and work and do business of his choice in any part of India peacefully," a bench of Justices H K Sema and Markandeya Katju observed in a 36- page judgement.
The apex court made the observation while upholding the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's move to ban the sale of meat in the town during nine-day "Paryushan festival" observed by the Jain community.
The bench's assertion comes in the recent backdrop of the Supreme Court comment, that it would not brook any Balkanisation of the country.
"We can understand what is happening. We will not allow/permit balkanisation of this country," the court had held on a PIL seeking action against Raj Thackeray for his controversial anti-North India remarks.
Justices Sema and Katju said the drafting committee of the Constitution had attached great importance to the term "Union" as symbolic of the determination of the Assembly to maintain the unity of the country.