Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee
Last Updated: June 08, 2023, 23:49 IST
Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal), India
Temples in Haridwar have adopted a new dress code by banning short or western clothes. The top priest of a religious organisation said exposing any part of the body was unacceptable in Indian culture and, in fact, temples down south also had a rule against short clothes. The temples at the pilgrimage town in Uttarakhand were only taking this tradition forward.
There will be no entry into temples for those wearing western dress or short clothes once this ban is implemented – be it men, women, boys or girls.
Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad president Ravindra Puri said exposing parts of the body was not considered good in Indian culture, due to which there is already a ban on wearing short clothes in the temples of South India. While taking forward this religious tradition, an appeal has been made to sisters, daughters and mothers who come to the temples of Haridwar, he said.
The mahant said temples were places for self-enrichment and spiritual upliftment and not for entertainment, so appropriate clothing must be worn for darshan. Devotees should have 80 percent of their body covered when visiting temples here, he added.
“As per Indian culture, 80 percent of the body should be covered. That is why we have appealed to young men and women coming to temples that they should come with 80 percent of the body covered or they won’t be allowed to enter. There is one more reason to apply this dress code. Whenever we perform any religious ritual like worship, hawan, yagya or anointment, our clothes should be of Indian tradition. This decision has been welcomed by all sections of people,” Puri said.
Puri further said the dress code will be applied with force if needed. He said major political parties in Uttarakhand have welcomed the appeal. Devotees at the temple were also consulted and gave their consent.
“There are only 1 or 2 percent of people who will oppose this decision because of their mindset but soon they will understand its importance. If even after implementing this ban, a person refuses to follow the rules, they will be stopped from entering by force,” he said.
Answering questions on clothing such as jeans and if a person’s body is appropriately covered, the mahant said he was not averse to those wearing jeans but they should cover the body appropriately. But it was not advisable to wear it as it made people uncomfortable during long prayer ceremonies, he added.
He further said dhoti-kurta or other Indian outfits will prove to be more comfortable and the person will feel relaxed during the ceremony.
Dress code welcomed by devotees
A number of devotees expressed their satisfaction over this decision. Nisha, who had come from Delhi to offer prayers at Daksheshwar Mahadev temple, welcomed the move. She said such a decision will be helpful for youngsters to gradually adopt Indian culture and tradition.
Another devotee from Gwalior, Ruchi Chaturvedi said Indian traditions should be adopted instead of people running towards western norms. Ekta Singh from Lucknow said as per Indian culture, the decision was sound.
A devotee from Gwalior, Shrishti Singh said since people wore western clothes for other activities, it had become the norm to wear such clothing to temples as well. This indicated that Indian culture and traditions were on verge of becoming extinct, Singh added.
Those selling traditional clothing are hoping for good business in Haridwar. Shops selling traditional garments like dhoti-kurta, readymade suits, saris among others, in and around the temples or main market, have welcomed the decision.
Local trader Mohan Prakash said the decision will certainly help people understand the greatness of Indian civilisation and culture.