Paid darshan and VIP darshan are now practiced in temples. Tens of thousands of devotees throng major temples and stand in long queues for public darshan of the dieties. But by paying a fee of 50 rupees, 100 rupees, many quickly complete the darshan of the presiding diety and return. Poor and humble devotees would wait in the queue for a long time and have darshan.
This being so, the VIP darshan will be different from time to time. They go straight and complete the Sami darshan in a few minutes. Darshan for other VIPs arriving will be interrupted and cause great disruption.
The Tamil Nadu government is taking action to put an end to all this. Mr. ShekharBabu, the Minister for Hindu Religious Charities and Endowments who gave an interview in this regard, said,” Everyone is equal in temples.
The status of superior should be changed. VIP darshan is not something that started after this regime. The Department of Hindu Religious Charities is engaged in an effort to reduce it gradually. For example, although an annual income of 40 lakh rupees is generated through 20 rupees fee darshan in NamakkalAnjaneyar temple, we have decided that the fee darshan is not necessary and we have cancelled it so that the income can be offset against other income of the temple.
In due course the government will make efforts to phase out VIP darshan wherever possible. The Department of Hindu Religious Charities will take steps to phase out the special fee darshan and VIP darshan. He said this, is discrimination necessary in worshiping God? Can we charge for income? Need VIP Darshan? A series of questions have been raised from time to time. Hindu organizations themselves oppose paid darshan and VIP Darshan. The minister has announced that this practice will be phased out. This is reassuring and welcome.