Maha Govt Pledges En­try for Women in All Tem­ples

Bom­bay HC didn’t want to get into spe­cific in­stances like Shing­na­pur tem­ple but said the state has to en­sure that women are not dis­crim­i­nated against

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Our Po­lit­i­cal Bureau

Mum­bai: The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment on Fri­day gave an un­der­tak­ing to the Bom­bay High Court that it would en­sure that women are al­lowed to en­ter all tem­ples in the state, a move that may bring relief to women’s groups, but could equally anger rad­i­cal Hindu out­fits.

The state gov­ern­ment, through its coun­sel act­ing Ad­vo­cate General Ro­hit Deo, gave an un­der­tak­ing to the court that the gov­ern­ment would soon write to all col­lec­tors and su­per­in­ten­dent of police to en­sure that there would be no gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion in any of the tem­ples within their ju­ris­dic­tion. The state’s as­sur­ance came on Fri­day af­ter the high court heard a bunch of PIL’s by women’s rights groups, seek­ing the court’s in­ter­ven­tion as they were not al­lowed inside tem­ples such as the Shani Shing­na­pur in Shirdi. The divi­sion bench did not want to get in­volved into spe­cific in­stances like the Shing­na­pur tem­ple, but said that the state has to en­sure that women are not dis­crim­i­nated against.

“It is the fun­da­men­tal duty of the state to pro­tect the fun­da­men­tal rights of women,” read the Bom­bay High Court or­der, adding that it has to en­sure due com­pli­ance and en­force­ment of the PILs filed by women’s rights groups for not be­ing al­lowed to en­ter tem­ples like Shani Shing­na­pur Tem­ple in Shirdi Will write to all the col­lec­tors and Su­per­in­ten­dent of Police to en­sure no gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion in tem­ples

al­lowed in the in­ner sanc­tum sanc­to­rum of the tem­ples then why are women not al­lowed? pro­vi­sions of the Act.

The high court dur­ing its last hear­ing had slammed the state gov­ern­ment, ques­tion­ing why are women not al­lowed in the sanc­tum sanc­to­rum of tem­ples, when men can do so, and di­rected To cre­ate aware­ness about Ma­ha­rash­tra Hindu Place of Wor­ship

It pre­scribes six months of im­pris­on­ment to any­one who pro­hibits a per­son from en­ter­ing a tem­ple duty of the state to pro­tect the fun­da­men­tal rights of women the state to cre­ate aware­ness about the Ma­ha­rash­tra Hindu Place of Wor­ship which hands out a pun­ish­ment of six months im­pris­on­ment to any­one who pro­hibits a per­son from en­ter­ing a tem­ple. While the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment has given an un­der­tak­ing that it would soon is­sue such in­struc­tions, it re­mains to be seen whether they would be fol­lowed.The tem­ple man­age­ment of Shani Shing­na­pur and rad­i­cal Hindu out­fits such as Sanathan Sanstha have in the re­cent past threat­ened and phys­i­cally stopped women from en­ter­ing the tem­ple. Not just the Shani tem­ple, there are other tem­ples like the Trim­bakesh­war Tem­ple in Nashik which doesn’t al­low women inside.

What’s worse, there’s a di­vide within the state BJP on the is­sue. While Ma­ha­rash­tra chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis is in favour of al­low­ing women inside tem­ples, his own min­is­ter for ru­ral devel­op­ment Pankaja Munde had sup­ported the ban, say­ing, this can­not be con­sid­ered as an “in­sult to the fe­male fra­ter­nity”. In­ter­est­ingly, the Bom­bay HC is also deal­ing with a sim­i­lar case in­volv­ing Mus­lim women who want the ju­di­ciary to al­low women to be al­lowed within the sanc­tum sanc­to­rum of the Haji Ali dar­gah at Worli.

The HC is also deal­ing with a sim­i­lar case in­volv­ing Mus­lim women who want to be al­lowed in the Haji Ali dar­gah

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