MADURAI: The Tamil Nadu government has decided to appeal against the Madras High Court order setting a dress code for devotees visiting temples in the state, which came into force from January 1.
The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) department, which administers a large number of temples in Tamil Nadu, is of the view that the order by a single judge of the Madurai Bench of the high court is not in consonance with the Tamil Nadu Temple Entry Authorisation Act, 1947, which permits individual temples to frame rules relating to attire as per their customs and traditions, said Government Pleader PR Shanmuganathan.
There are temples in the state that men are not supposed to enter with a shirt or towel covering their upper body. The high court direction would harm the practice followed at such temples, the department felt.
Justice S Vaidyanathan, in an order issued on December 1 last year, had directed the HR and CE Commissioner to impose the dress code from January 1 as he disposed of a petition seeking permission for a cultural programme and dance and music festival at a temple in Tiruchirappalli district.
The judge had said that men should wear 'dhoti or pyjama with upper cloth or formal pants and shirts' and women 'sari or half sari or churidar with upper cloth' and children should come in 'any fully-covered dress'.
The dress code had received widespread support from the devotees as well as tourists. However, several people, who were not allowed inside temples on New Year's day in pursuance of the order, had said that their sentiments were hurt.