Petition seeking a ban on the entry of non-Hindus in Temples across Tamil Nadu is a bid to divide the nation based on religion : Madras HC

Chennai – Expressing shock, Madras HC said that some people are for the hijab while some are for the hat, and some are favouring other things. Is this country united, or is it divided on the lines of religion ? What is paramount, country or religion ? It is quite surprising, observed the Court. India is a secular country. Nothing will be gained from the current hijab controversy, but efforts are being made to divide the country based on religion, the Madras High Court said while hearing a PIL seeking direction on a ban of non-Hindus and foreigners inside the Temples.

Some forces have created controversy over uniforms. The controversy is now spreading across the country, the Court added. The petition has been filed by Rangarajan Narasimhan, an activist from Trichy. The petitioner had sought a dress code for devotees entering the Temples. The petitioner had also asked for display boards banning non-Hindus to be put up prominently in the Temples. This will prevent atheists from entering the Temple. The sanctity of the Temple is ruined by the entry of non-Hindus.

1. The petitioner further demanded that the Court should make it mandatory for devotees to wear special attire and prevent non-Hindus from entering Temples across the State of Tamil Nadu. Each Temple has its own rules and customs regarding dress code and rituals which they follow. The Court asked for evidence from ‘Agamas’ regarding pants, dhotis and shirts. When there is no particular dress code, how can the question of putting up display boards arise asked the Court ?

2. At this time, Advocate General R. Shanmugasundaram told the Court that each Temple follows their traditions. Visitors belonging to other religions are allowed only up to ‘Kodi Maram’ (flag mast). The Madras High Court had earlier rejected a petition seeking special attire mandatory in Temples.

3. After hearing both sides, the Bench allowed the petitioner to file an affidavit with illustrations relating to the dress code and directed the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department to file a counter-petition.

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