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HomeNationMadras HC bans mobile phones across Tamil Nadu temples, cites ‘religious sanctity’

Madras HC bans mobile phones across Tamil Nadu temples, cites ‘religious sanctity’

Chennai: A recent judgment by Madras High Court ordered the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) Department to ban the usage of mobile phones inside all the temples across Tamil Nadu. This order comes to maintain ‘purity and religious sanctity.’ Temples have been central to everyone’s life and are not only a place of worship but are also an integral part of the people. It is preached as the purest place to worship. A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by M Seetharaman seeking a direction to prohibit mobile phones inside the Subramaniya Swamy Temple at Tiruchendur in the Tuticorin district. 

As per the petitioner, the devotees were more focused on taking photos of the idols during pujas, which is against the ‘agamas’ hence the use of mobile phones should be prohibited inside the Tiruchendur temple. Further, the petitioner stated that photography could endanger the security of temples besides apprehensions in women over their pictures being clicked without their consent.

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Justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad heard the case and said the authorities have to take steps to prohibit cell phone usage inside the temple premises, so as to preserve the sanctity of the temple. Further, apart from ensuring the safety of the devotees, the usage of phones and cameras diverts the devotees’ attention.

Ban on mobile phones has been introduced and successfully implemented in temples like Sri Krishna Temple in Guruvayur, and Sri Venkateshwara Temple in Tirupati across the country.

The court learned that the temple authorities in Tiruchendur had already taken measures for the mobile phone ban, decent dress code, and others inside the temple premise and ordered the HR & CE to follow the same in all Tamil Nadu temples.

To make things convenient for devotees, the court has suggested setting up phone deposit lockers at temples. Security personnel will also be appointed to ensure compliance with this order.

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