Mangaluru, July 15, 2016: Reports are rife that following a demand by Ranaragini a woman-only Hindutva group formed in April the renowned Shree Mangaladevi temple in this coastal city has made a move to put in place a ‘dress code’ for visitors to the temple.
Though temple authorities say it is not compulsory, the ‘A’ grade temple under the Endowment Department has displayed a notice on its premises asking devotees to follow a ‘dress code’, but without defining it.
P. Ramanath Hegde, managing trustee of the temple management committee, told media that there is no compulsion on devotees to wear a certain dress, but the temple expects them to cover the body fully. “However, if anybody comes in a short dress, he or she will not be sent out,” he said, adding that the purpose of displaying the board was to make devotees aware and follow it “voluntarily”.
Ranaragini presented a memorandum to the temple management committee on June 10 and the temple displayed the board at the entrance on July 8.
Bhavani Prabhu from Ranaragini said it has launched a movement to implement a dress code in temples to maintain “sanctity” of temples. A similar memorandum has been submitted to Kavoor Mahalingeshwara temple, which is yet to display a board about it. The group plans to submit the memorandum to Sharavu Mahaganapathi temple, in the city, she said. “We explain benefits of implementing dress code and leave it to the temple to take a call,” she said.
G. Hanumantha Kamath, social activist and president of Nagarika Hitarakshana Samiti, Mangaluru, said the temple has given scope for “unnecessarily exchange of words between the temple staff and devotees”. Now the board has created confusion among devotees. “Let them clearly state what the dress code is. Otherwise, the board should be removed,” he said.
Kumar, Additional Deputy Commissioner, said the Police Department can not intervene in the management of the temple as it is managed by a hereditary committee.