Protestors gathered near the temple entrance felt there was a deliberate attempt by vested interests in interfering with the temple traditions and customs that were in place since many centuries.

No entry for churidar yet Stay order on Padmanabhaswamy temples historic dress code change
news Customs Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 12:41

A day after the Executive Officer of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple issued an order allowing entry of women devotees wearing churidar to the temple premises, a district judge stayed the order on Wednesday. 

The stay order came in the backdrop of agitation carried out by a group of devotees outside the temple on Wednesday morning. Issuing a stay on the order, district judge and temple administrative committee Chairman Haripal reportedly said that the administrative committee was not approached before the EO relaxed the norms. 

Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Brahamana Samajam and the Hindu Aikyavedi staged a protest in front of the temple since Wednesday morning against the controversial order.

Protestors gathered near the temple entrance felt there was a deliberate attempt by vested interests in interfering with the temple traditions and customs that were in place since many centuries. 

Speaking to The News Minute, Srivaraham Vijayan -BJP state committee member- voiced his anguish over the ‘spoiling of the atmosphere in the temple:

“Why is the Executive Committee -comprising a judge and another member- insistent on changing age-old customs and traditions of the temple. On the contrary, what is needed is that female worshippers should enter the temple clad only in sarees or neriyathu (a saree-set piece) with a ‘mundu’ (dhoti) draped over. We do not object to salwar kameez per se. But we do feel that the leggings that the women of today wear in combination with churidars/kurtis can cause distraction to those who come to offer prayers here. This could spoil the atmosphere in the temple.”

An order relaxing the temple’s dress code for women-which previously prescribed saree or expected women to tie a dhoti over their clothes- was issued by Executive Officer KN Satheesh, after a Thiruvananthapuram-based lawyer Riya Raji moved the High Court against the dress code. 

The temple executive officer KN Satheesh however told earlier told The News Minute that the said order was passed after taking into consideration countless petitions from women devotees requesting that they be permitted to worship while donning the churidar/salwar kameez attire. He added that women devotees wearing churidar were allowed entry until the stay order was issued. 

The same was approved –Satheesh said- as these too were part of the traditional Indian attire and that the gambit of the order did not include jeans, tights and other similar Western wear.

The temple administration too has reportedly voiced its concerns over the order that seeks to change the dress-code for women without proper consultations being held with all those in charge of the same.

Reports say that the Executive Committee apparently got the Tantri’s opinion on the same in writing before issuing the order.

(All photographs by Sreekesh Raveendran Nair)

Also read: Kerala's Padmanabhaswamy temple walks into 21st century, allows women to wear churidar

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