Is Kashi Vishwanath’s decision on clothing the sign of a progressive India?

    In a surprising move, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple will soon have a new rule.
    A rule states that devotees have to wear traditional Indian clothes if they want to enter the inner sanctum of the temple. It specifies ‘Dhoti-Kurta’ for men and ‘saree’ for women.

    UP Tourism & Dharmarth Karya Minister Dr Neelkanth Tiwari chaired the meeting where this decision was taken. There is no mention of the salwar kameez or other traditional clothing from different parts of the country, that will be allowed.

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    Will this bring forward the image of a progressive India? Isn’t it the fundamental right of an Indian to decide what they wear? Will a piece of clothing be the right measure of a person’s faith and belief?

    This decision will raise many a question. Currently, with divisive issues like CAA and NRC already creating unrest in the country, this could be seen as a regressive step towards defining the eligibility criteria for temple worship. Also, it deters people who may not wear these traditional outfits but some other.

    Lakhs of people visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple from across the world and bringing in a clause such as this, may discourage people from coming here.

    Yes, there is a protocol to be maintained while in a place of worship. That can be broadly outlined. But specifying a certain type, not only restricts a person but also forces him/her to adopt a certain dictum, that otherwise, may not be agreeable. And this is against the ethos of democracy.