Pradeep Pattanayak

With the Chief Administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) announcing about the restriction on entry of indecently-clad devotees into Srimandir, devotes are now in a fix as to what types of dresses male, female, and child devotees should wear. 

At a time when the SJTA has not clarified the specific dress codes for male, female, and children devotees, Daitapati Nijog secretary Ramkrushna Das Mohapatra informed what dresses the devotees should wear. 

“Male devotees can come in traditional attire, pants and shirt. Similarly, female devotees can come wearing sarees and salwar suits. Children below 12 years old can come in half pants. Those coming in half pants, ripped jeans, and sleeveless shirts won’t be allowed into the shrine,” said Ramkrushna. 

At the same time, servitors have also demanded cloakroom and changing room facilities near all four gates of the temple so that a devotee can change his/her clothes easily before entering the shrine. 

“Devotees of our country have a decency regarding their dresses. But the ban is on the devotees who are coming wearing western clothes,” observed senior servitor Binayak Das Mohapatra. 

Another senior servitor, Hajuri Krushnachandra Khuntia said, “Drawing the attention of the SJTA to devotees coming to the temple wearing inappropriate clothing, we have been writing letters to the SJTA for the last six years. For awareness, posters should also be put up at the notice boards of all the hotels and lodges in Puri.”

While the devotees visiting Srimandir welcomed the move, some intellectuals opposed this, saying they would challenge it in court if a devotee is debarred from entering the shrine. 

“It is a good decision taken by the SJTA. With this, a good tradition is going to be set,” said a female devotee. 

Echoing the same, a male devotee said, “If we come to the temple wearing indecent dresses, the spiritualism of the devotees would be affected.”

“I will come to the temple wearing half pants and half shirt. If the administration refrains me from entering the temple, I will challenge the temple administration’s decision and take the matter to the court,” warned Dilip Baral, an RTI activist. 

Notably, even after the Supreme Court’s order, the rates of Mahaprasad are yet to be finalised and the ban on the use of mobile phones inside the temple is yet to be implemented strictly.

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