Nation Other News 23 Apr 2016 Trupti to lead natio ...

Trupti to lead nationwide struggle against temples that ban women entry

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Apr 23, 2016, 11:45 am IST
Updated Apr 23, 2016, 1:52 pm IST
Desai and three other activists offered prayers at Trimbakeshwar and to everyone’s surprise, all of them were wearing silk saris.
Leader of the Bhumata Brigade, Trupti Desai interacts with media in Mumbai. (Photo: PTI)
 Leader of the Bhumata Brigade, Trupti Desai interacts with media in Mumbai. (Photo: PTI)

Nashik: Bhumata Brigade president Trupti Desai announced on Friday that her organisation will lead a nationwide struggle against temples that do not allow women entry into their sanctum sanctorum.

This she intends to do with active help from a high court order recently which observed that women cannot be barred from temples, she said.

 

She was speaking after offering prayers in the sanctum of Trimbakeshwar Temple in Nashik on Friday after it was thrown open to women.

Ms Desai and three other activists arrived before 6 am in Trimbakeshwar and offered prayers. To everyone’s surprise, all of them were wearing silk saris.

“We are very happy about the darshan. We had to lead a long struggle and faced many hardships. Today, we have been allowed darshan with samman (respect),” she said.

On Thursday, a three-member team from the Swarajya Mahila Sanghatna, including its president Vanita Gatte, became the first women to enter the sanctum of Trimbakeshwar Temple.

 

The Bhumata Brigade has been successful in gaining entry in three major temples in Maharashtra — Shani Shingnapur in Ahmednagar district, Ambadevi Temple in Kolhapur and Trimbakeshwar Temple in Nashik.

The struggle for entry began when an unidentified woman climbed the platform of Shani Shingnapur on November 29, 2015.

The angry trustees and villagers allegedly washed and purified the temple complex. Following this move, the Bhumata Brigade took up the issue on December 20, 2015.

Ever since, the organisation has led several unsuccessful campaigns to gain entry and had to bear the brunt of trustees’ and priests’ ire. Cases were also registered when priests at Ambadevi Temple allegedly attacked her. The attackers are currently absconding.

 

Speaking about the Haji Ali Dargah off Worli coast, Ms Desai said that it should also allow women entry into its sanctum.

“We are giving the trustees time till April 28 to decide on entry to women which was banned in 2012. After April 28, we will be forced to agitate outside the complex,” she said.

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