Madras Court orders Hindu temples to ban western clothes

MERAsouth-templeThe Madras high court ordered Hindu temples to refuse entry to devotees wearing western clothes including jeans, Bermuda shorts, skirts, short sleeves or tight leggings.

As a result hundreds of staff in the state’s 6000 temples were on alert for people flouting the ban that was enforced on January 1 and includes locals and foreign visitors who visit the temples as tourist attractions. One official said Arulmigu Ramanatha Swami temple receives over 4 million visitors a year.

The court order said one should dress for public worship in a way that is generally considered appropriate, and permits men to wear a dhoti, pyjamas with a cloth top, or formal shirts and trousers. Women are allowed to wear saris or half saris with a blouse.

In Mumbai women activists are fighting a legal battle to overturn a ban on women entering the Haji Ali Dargah Muslim shrine, where menstruation was cited as the reason for restriction.