(Image source from: HC prescribes dress code to enter temples in Tamil Nadu})
The Madras High Court Bench prescribed a dress code for all those visiting temples across Tamil Nadu, which are under the maintenance of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department. Men have to wear dhoti or pyjama, while women should be in sari, half sari or churidhar, as per the significant judgment.
Justice S. Vaidyanathan ordered that men should wear a “dhoti or pyjama with upper cloth or formal pants and shirts” to temples and women should wear “a sari or a half sari or churidhar with upper cloth.” Children could wear “any fully covered dress.”
He gave directions to the HR and CE Commissioner for the issuance of a circular to temples, falling under his jurisdiction, to strictly stick to the dress code. He clarified that temples can continue to practice the system of prohibiting men from wearing an upper cloth.
It was said by the judge that, an interim measure, his order has to be followed until a policy decision is taken by the State government. The police decision would be as expeditiously as possible for the prescription of a similar dress code as a measure to enhance the spiritual ambience among devotees.
The judge ordered that, “The temples which are not coming within the purview of the Government shall enforce their own dress code… Police shall not allow devotees inside any Hindu Temple of Tamil Nadu who wear dresses other than the one prescribed.”
The judge said that the motive behind the imposition of dress code is to restrict devotees from wearing improper clothing, while visiting the temple. He added that a neat, decent, and disciplined dress code is prescribed by all religions, which include Islam, Christianity, for worshipping their respective Gods.