Court bars non-Hindus from entering Tamil Nadu temples

Wednesday 07th February 2024 05:58 EST

Madurai: The Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu HR&CE department to install boards in all Hindu temples stating non-Hindus were not permitted beyond the 'Kodimaram' (flagpole) area in the respective shrines and said Hindus also have fundamental right to profess and practice their religion.

Justice S Srimathy of the HC's Madurai Bench gave the judgment while hearing a plea from D Senthilkumar, who sought directions to the respondents to permit Hindus alone to the Arulmigu Palani Dhandayuthapani Swamy temple and its sub temples. He also wanted that display boards to that effect in all entrances be set up. The famous Lord Murugan temple is located in Palani in Dindigul district.

The respondents were the Tamil Nadu government, represented by Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Culture and Religious Endowments, The Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE) and the Executive Officer of the Palani temple. The HR&CE department administers Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu.

Admitting the petition, the court directed the respondents to install boards indicating "non-Hindus are not allowed inside temple after Kodimaram" in the entrance of the temples, near the flagpole and at prominent places in the shrine.
"The respondents are directed not to allow the non-Hindus who do not believe in Hindu religion. If any Non-Hindu claims to visit particular deity in the temple, then the respondents shall obtain undertaking from the said non-Hindu that he is having faith in the deity and he would follow the customs and practices of Hindu religion and also abide by the temple customs and on such undertaking the said non-Hindu may be allowed to visit the temple," the court ruled.

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