Madras HC raps temples, says darshan should be equal for all
Madras High Court has come down heavily on the alleged discriminatory practices in some major temples across Tamil Nadu favouring the people who pay for darshan as compared to those who opted for free darshan.
Taking up a PIL filed by G Aravindalochanan, who sought directions for equal opportunities for all — praying from the same distance from the presiding deity and for same duration for all — chief justice Indira Banerjee, and justice M Sundar ordered that all devotees must have darshan from the same distance.
The petitioner has alleged in his PIL that devotees who paid for darshan got better opportunities and advantages than those who opted for free darshan at Srivilliputtur Sri Andal Temple at Srivilliputtur, Arulmighu Ekambaranathar Temple at Kancheepuram and Arulmigu Oppiliappan Temple at Thirunagesaram. He had visited the three temples and witnessed the practice of giving the opportunity to those opting for paid darshan to pray from closer to the deity than those opting for free darshanm, and also got to stay for longer duration to pray.
The petitioner said this practice violated the fundamental rights of equality guaranteed by the Constitution.
He sought directions to the temple authorities to stop this practice.