The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) will soon make dress code mandatory in the Srimandir in a phased manner. Chief administrator Dr Krishan Kumar disclosed the plans following discussions with Chhatisha Nijog, on Monday.
Kumar said that the dress code for the servitors would come into effect from Kumar Purnima, while for other staff of the Srimandir, it will come into force a day after Diwali (from November 5).
The decision of SJTA to fixed dress code for servitors has been welcomed, though the same for devotees has evoked mixed response.
“Wearing western casuals, many servitors are reaching up to the 'Ratna Singhasan'. It is inviting resentment among the devotees who sometimes questions as to why can't they too enter the sacred place when others are allowed in such informal attire,” said senior servitor Binayak Das Mohapatra.
"One shouldn't also visit Pokharia while wearing shirts and pants. So, we welcome the decision of the Srimandir administration," said Mohapatra.
Welcoming the decision of the Srimandir administration, Pandit Surya Narayan Rath Sharma said, "Puri Srimandir is not a tourist place that people can visit while wearing whatever they wish."
Moreover, chief administrator Dr Krishan Kumar informed that devotees too may have to wear traditional dress while entering the Srimandir. While a final decision in this regard is yet to be taken, the move has nevertheless, evoked mixed response from devotees.
While some feel there shouldn't be any problem in implementing the dress code as some temples in India don't allow male devotees in jeans and casuals and allow women only in traditional attire, others opined that the move will create problems for those visiting from far off places. Devotion shouldn't be determined on the basis of dressing manners, they argue.
"Dress code for the servitors will help devotees identify them. However, dress code for devotees doesn't seem feasible. Besides, it will only show a narrow mindset and I think having the darshan of the Lord Jagannath with such with a mindset will not be appropriate," said Ramesh Khadenga, a devotee.