The decision allowing women to enter the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple wearing a churidar ran into rough weather with Hindu organisations raising opposition.
The women who tried to enter the temple wearing churidar on Wednesday were blocked at the East Entrance of the temple by Hindu activists. Earlier, executive officer K N Satheesh put churidars on the allowed list from Tuesday, against the opinion of the chairman of the temple administrative committee, K Haripal, who wanted the present dress code maintained.
Those who tried to enter the Temple wearing Churidar found activists lined up to block those who attempted to enter the temple ‘violating tradition’. The peeved executive officer said he would seek police assistance to implement the order and inform the High Court of the happenings.
The order was the outcome of a petition filed by Thiruvananthapuram native Riya Raji in the Kerala High Court seeking its intervention after her petition to the administrative committee was rejected. The High Court ordered the executive officer to consider the petition and give a directive on the matter within 30 days.
Accordingly, a hearing was conducted two weeks ago seeking public opinion on the matter. Satheesh’s order stated that women overwhelmingly supported the move.
The dress code for women visiting Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple was either a sari or a skirt with blouse or top, as appropriate to the age. Young girls below the age of 12 were allowed to wear gowns. For men it was a dhoti with or without an angavastram. While churidars and pants were allowed, women had to cover up with a mundu before entering the temple complex.
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