While hearing a matter related to Tiruchendur Arulmigu Subramania Swamy Temple, Madras High Court has issued an order that no person including temple employees or government staff should be allowed to misuse VIP darshan passes in temples.
“The devotees are worshiping the God on religious faith. Thus, there cannot be any discrimination amongst the devotees, as the VIPs are also attending the temple for darshan as devotee,” the bench said.
High Court bench has also asked the authorities to make sure that VIP darshan doesn’t become an inconvenience for Public Darshan. To avoid the misuse, the temple administration has been directed to keep the list of VIPs already notified by the State government.
Justice SM Subramaniam added, “People are frustrated with VIP culture more specifically in closed premises like temple, as the devotees are made to suffer on account of special darshan to VIPs and other important persons. People are lamenting and in fact cursing.”
VIP Benefits Are For Special Office Which The Person Holds, Not For Individual
Madurai bench of Madras High Court has also made it clear that VIP entry pass is only restricted to the persons and their families who are on the list provided by the state govt. Other relatives are not eligible to avail those benefits.
The bench stated that security guards, staff members and other departmental personnel may not be allowed to have special darshan. Rather, these persons should resort to paid darshan queue or free darshan queue along with other devotees.
The bench said, “There can be no argument that some people deserve special darshan. However, such treatment is reserved only for the special offices which the persons holding, but not for the individual per se. In most developed countries, the State protects only few at the top position, that is, constitutional dignitaries and the rest is to manage its securities. Certain special privileges shall not come in the way of equality of the citizens.”
Justice Subramaniam was of the view that this entire system of allowing department personnel of VIPs must be abolished.
“God alone is VIP. If any VIP causes any inconvenience to the public devotees, then such VIP is committing religious sin, which will not be forgiven by the God. Thus, the conscious of the VIPs plays a pivotal role, while causing such inconvenience to the general public more specifically in Temples, Churches and Mosques,” the HC bench said.
The bench also stated that special darshan should only last for ten minutes and the crowd before the deity should be properly regulated.
Justice Subramaniam went on to add, “The practice prevailing in the subject temple is that VIPs, their relatives, various Government department staffs, even various department staffs are permitted to sit longer time in front of the deity thereby, depriving the devotees/general public from getting public darshan.”