27 May 2023, Mumbai: The Maharashtra Temple Federation has decided to ban certain dresses like half pants that it called “indecent” for devotees to enter the temples saying that the move is aimed to protect the sanctity of the temple and to follow the “Indian culture.”
The federation’s coordinator Sunil Ghanwat said, “We are banning indecent dress, like half pants etc for the devotees. We just want no one to enter the temple with an indecent dress or half pants.”
The decision will be first implemented in four temples in Nagpur and later in all temples across Maharashtra, he said.
He also added that a massive campaign would be launched across the state to implement the dress code in all the temples in Maharashtra and create awareness among the devotees about donning an attire which befits entering a temple.
Plaques asking devotees to protect the sanctity of the temple and follow Indian culture will be installed at the entry gate of the temples
Ghanwat said that a unanimous decision was taken to implement the dress code in the temples of Shri Gopalkrishna Mandir Gorakshana Sabha (Dhantoli), Shri Sankatmochan Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple (Belori), Shri Brihaspati Temple (Kanhorlibara), and Shri Durga Mata Temple (Hill Top) in Nagpur district.
The Tulja Bhavani Temple administration in Osmanabad district had recently prohibited the entry of devotees wearing half pants or “indecent” clothes but reversed the decision following pushback from some quarters.
Ghanwat said that a “simple dress code” has been in force for many years in some famous temples in the country, like Sri Mahakaleshwar Temple of Ujjain which is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, Ghrishneshwar Temple in Maharashtra, Kashi-Vishweshwar temple in Varanasi, Tirupati Balaji Temple in Andhra Pradesh, Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, and Mata Temple in Kanyakumari.
“Everyone has personal freedom of ‘what to wear at home and in public. But a temple is a religious place and there should be a code of conduct” he said.