Women Finally Allowed In Shingnapur Shani Mandir

By: Gaurav Bidasaria, 2016-04-08 09:15:00.0Category:  Developments
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In a historic decision taken by the authorities of the Shingnapur Shani temple, women are now allowed to enter the temple and offer their prayers to the almighty lord. The decision came soon after a group of angry men broke through the barricades on Gudi Padwa to offer Jal Pooja on Friday.

The Protest

The protest for women's right to enter the Shingnapur Shani temple has been going on for months with the authorities reluctant to give in to the 400 years old tradition. After months of agitation and dharnas, the Bombay High Court passed the decision on April 2 unanimously that women be provided equal rights as men to enter the temple and offer their prayers.

"There is no law, which prevents women from having equal access from entering a temple. If men are allowed then women should also be allowed," - Bombay High Court.

Several women approached the temple but instead of allowing them entrance, they were beaten up and thrashed by the temple authorities who were reluctant to give in to the decision of the high court. The Shani temple is home to the Lord Shani or Saturn.

The Break In

Gudi Padwa is an auspicious day for Hindus, it celebrates the Hindu New Year. Several men in a fit of rage broke through the twin barricades that were placed outside the inner sanctum in order to block people from entering the temple. They wanted to offer their prayers and perform Jal Pooja where Lord Shani is bath with the holy water.

The authorities tried to stop over 100 men from entering the temple, and a police party was also deployed on the scene however the group climb onto the barricade and successfully entered the inner sanctum. The policemen though arrived on the scene to make sure that the situation does not gets out of hand, they remained in their position and did not actively tried to stop these men from performing their rituals.

The Decision

The temple authorities and the trustees later that day called a meeting and passed the decision to allow women inside the inner sanctum and offer their prayers.

"Shani Shingnapur Trust has decided that temple’s sanctum will be open for all, including women," Nanasaheb Bankar, temple trustee told ANI.

The leader of Bhumata Brigade, Trupti Desai told the IBN - “We welcome the decision taken by the trust. It's a victory for women. This is a great achievement against gender inequality.” Bhumata Brigade is an activist group that has led the protest and fought actively in the fight for women's rights.

Source - HT

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