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