A Step Towards Equality: Bombay High Court Directs Temples To Allow Women Entry
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There is no law that prevents women from entering a place of worship and if men are allowed, women should also be permitted, the Bombay High Court observed on Wednesday. It further stated that any temple or person imposing any such restrictions on women can face a jail term of up to six months under a Maharashtra law.
The court also said that the government should give wide publicity to the Act and issue circulars, informing the general public about the Act and its provisions.
The division bench comprising Chief Justice DH Waghela and Justice MS Sonak made these observations during the hearing of a PIL by advocate Nilima Vartak and an activist Vidya Bal, challenging the prohibition of entry of women in the Shani Shingnapur temple.
Women have been trying to enter the inner shrine of the Shani temple from the past few months. But their attempts have been thwarted by police and temple officials.
The division bench has now given two days for the Maharashtra government to explain why women should not be allowed to enter the Shani temple.
Some of the trustees of the temple, though came forward with an idea that men and women are both banned from entering the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, but observers have pointed out that male devotees are allowed and women are completely banned.
Women are banned from entering many religious places in India. This is not bound to temples only, but also Islamic institution like the Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai.
The Logical Indian community applauds the decision given by the Bombay High Court. Such a decision sets an example of maintaining the men-women equality in every sphere. Such laws should be equally welcomed in other states too.
We at The Logical Indian have always been in favor of women being given equal status in the society and how debate of equality needs to start from religion. We applaud the women of Mumbai for having taken matters into their own hands. What is evident is irrespective of what religion you belong to, the issues faced are common. We commend Mumbai women and hope they would inspire women from other cities and villages to gather the courage and will to fight for their rights.