Bangalore -In the midst of ongoing debates surrounding the ‘Sanatana Dharma’ remark made by Tamil Nadu Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has stoked fresh controversy by revealing an incident from his past, where he declined to enter a temple in Kerala after being asked to remove his shirt.
The controversial statement came to light during Siddaramaiah’s address at an event in Bangalore commemorating the 169th birth anniversary of Narayana Guru, a revered social reformer.
Narrating the incident, Siddaramaiah remarked, “Once, I visited a temple in Kerala, where they requested me to remove my shirt before entering. I refused to comply with this request and expressed my intention to offer prayers from outside. It’s noteworthy that they did not apply this rule uniformly but singled out a few individuals. Such practices, I believe, are inhumane, as everyone should be considered equal before God.”
This revelation highlights a longstanding tradition in several South Indian temples where men are expected to enter with an ‘angavastra,’ a shawl-like garment worn over the shoulder.
The remarks by Siddaramaiah add another layer of complexity to the ongoing discussions surrounding religion, customs, and practices in India. As political leaders wade into these sensitive issues, debates about cultural and religious norms continue to resonate across the nation.