Madras HC raps tem­ples, says dar­shan should be equal for all

Hindustan Times (Bathinda) - - NATION - KV Lak­sh­mana klak­sh­

CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Tues­day came down heav­ily on the al­leged dis­crim­i­na­tory prac­tices in some ma­jor tem­ples across Tamil Nadu that favour peo­ple who pay for ‘dar­shan’ as com­pared to those who opted for free ‘dar­shan’.

Tak­ing up a pub­lic in­ter­est lit­i­ga­tion (PIL) filed by G Aravin­dalochanan, who sought di­rec­tions for equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for all — pray­ing from the same dis­tance from the pre­sid­ing de­ity and for the same du­ra­tion — a bench of chief jus­tice Indira Banerjee and jus­tice M Sun­dar or­dered that all devo­tees must have the op­por­tu­nity for ‘dar­shan’ from the same dis­tance.

The pe­ti­tioner has al­leged that devo­tees who paid for ‘dar­shan’ got bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties and ad­van­tages than those who opted for the free one at Sriv­il­liput­tur Sri An­dal Tem­ple at Sriv­il­liput­tur, Arul­mighu Ekam­baranathar Tem­ple at Kancheep­u­ram, and Arul­migu Op­pil­i­ap­pan Tem­ple at Thirunage­saram.

Aravin­dalochanan had vis­ited the three tem­ples and wit­nessed the prac­tice of giv­ing a chance to pray closer to the de­ity and for longer to those opt­ing for paid ‘dar­shan’.

The pe­ti­tioner said this prac­tice vi­o­lated the fun­da­men­tal rights of equal­ity guar­an­teed by the Con­sti­tu­tion. He sought di­rec­tions to tem­ple au­thor­i­ties to stop this prac­tice.

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