Nagpur: You have to give it to Trupti Desai and her Bhumata brigade of women activists. Not just men priests, but even many ordinary – even educated – Hindu women do not approve of their activities but they are determined to break the centuries old taboo of women entering sanctum santorum ( garbha) of ANY Hindu temple and offering prayers.
We all thought it was finally going to be possible today after the Bombay High Court gave a ruling to this effect yesterday, stating clearly that women could not be discriminated against.
Yet, at exactly 2.55 pm when Trupti Desai and other women arrived inside the temple and marched towards the shrine area, they were prevented by belligerent villagers from climbing the platform where Shani idol is installed. On TV, we can see not just local men but many police women pushing back Trupti’s women associates very ruthlessly, almost brutally.
”We were pushed back by villagers…it is a murder of Indian constitution…the govt has failed in its duty…we will file FIR against the chief minister,” Desai said even as she and her brigade members sat on a dharna inside the temple.
Some of them were shouting defiantly “We will either enter the temple and pray or die here today”.
We could see women pilgrims from North India and other states asking, what was the problem? Why can’t women do Shani puja?
It had seemed that our modern, educated and ‘liberal’ minded young CM was also of this view and defended women’s right to worship any God… but his determination seems to have wavered today.
Either he did not want to hurt local sentiment which has guarded the status quo of the temple for years on end, or some Hindu outfit leaders thought better of such ‘modernism’ women were again thwarted today.
Police remained mute spectators as villagers had their way – in fact they also targeted the women who were right in the eyes of the law instead of the villagers who were clearly in the wrong.
There is word that the temple authorities are going to approach the Supreme Court against the High court’s rulings.
Something tells us, this is not the end… this war is far from over. Not yet!