Judge orders restrictions on non­-Hindus in temples

The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu HR&CE department to install boards stating non-Hindus not permitted beyond the ‘Kodimaram’ (flagpole) area of the Palani temple (Arulmigu Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple) and its sub-temples.

Justice S Srimathy of the HC’s Madurai Bench gave the judgement while hearing a plea from Senthilkumar from Palani who had filed a petition in the Court.

The notice board at the temple, which prohibited non-Hindus from entering the temple, has been removed by the current official. He had filed a petition seeking an order to reinstate the notice.

“While admiring the architectural monuments the people cannot use the premises as picnic spot or tourist spot and the temples premises ought to be maintained with reverence and as per agamas. Therefore the rights guaranteed under the Articles is not granting any right to the respondents to allow the other religion people if they do not have any faith and belief in the Hindu religion. Moreover the rights are guaranteed to all religion and there cannot be any bias in applying such right,” the court said.

“The respondents shall maintain the temple premises by strictly following the agamas (temple rules), customs and practices of the temple,” the judge said.

Judge Shrimati heard this petition and ordered the placement of banners within the temple premises, reinforcing the prohibition of entry for non-Hindus and those not adhering to Hindu beliefs. The restriction extends only up to the flagpole, allowing non-Hindus to enter after registering their intention to have darshan.